Terrorist threats bound to disrupt air travel
As usual, authorities rather than predicting likely problems arising in airline security, take panic measures after tragic events. The loss of the Russian aircraft departing from Sharm el Sheikh, now confirmed to have been downed by a bomb placed on-board, provoked governments into cancelling flights to the area and in rescuing remaining tourists without their baggage.
The possibility of placing explosive devices inside a plane exists at every airport in the world, irrespective of the amount and quality of its security. The aircraft is visited by technicians, cleaners, catering staff and baggage loaders who have the ability to introduce forbidden items into the aircraft with little supervision. Vetting staff can only give assurances to a point. Should airports ban certain types of employees, based, for instance, on their religion? Of course, not! How far can the inspection of catering and cleaning facilities go? The liquids taken on board for cleaning purposes may well be explosive and been delivered air-side by criminals. Similarly, are all the bottles and cans that enter the airport boundaries, and will eventually be loaded onto a plane, examined and analyzed in detail?
Full security is impossible. The idea of flying without hold baggage is an extreme that hopefully will not be taken up. Soon, there would be bans on cabin luggage and even clothing. Everybody strips off and wears a uniformly loose-fit habit...
So, is there no solution? Well, maybe there is, and it starts by accepting the well-known roots of the current problems: Palestine, foreign armed forces in Saudi Arabia, neo-colonialism, major western economies' reliance on Gulf oil, sale of arms, and lack of respect for other cultures.
'Tit for tat' is not the answer.