06 November 2010

No more air security restrictions? Dream on!

air freight containersEveryone seems to have breathed a sigh of relief after last week's printer cartridge bomb alert because it appears to be an air freight issue, not an air passenger issue.

As nightmarish as the scale of the security problem is for the air cargo industry, to the undoubted relief of the chairmen of Ryanair & British Airways, not to mention squillions of travellers, nobody seems to be talking about beefing up the already grisly security restrictions on air passengers.

But don't imagine we are going to get away with it that easily.

1) A significant amount of freight is flown on passenger aircraft. In the USA for example the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) calculates that 25% of the 50,000 tons of cargo shipped by air within the U.S. every day, is flown on passenger airlines.

2) The bomb packages, such as the U.S.-bound printer discovered on a plane in Dubai, contained explosives and an electrical circuit linked to a mobile phone SIM card.

Over the past few years, many of the major airlines have been investing heavily in the development of in-flight mobile phone communications.

D'you think any of that is going to happen now?

I suspect that before too long, instead of being politely asked to switch off our mobiles while in the air, they'll be taken off us.

I think there's a chance they'll become a banned item in the cabin and consigned to hold baggage.

...which doesn't bode well for the development of mobile phone boarding passes either.

1 comment:

Clive Tully said...

Maybe the airlines could tackle it elegantly by having each aircraft broadcast a localised mobile phone jamming signal...?