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Tougher Screening Procedures Will Encourage Air Travel

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, November 2, 2001

Tougher Screening Procedures Will Encourage Air Travel

In order to shorten airport security lines and to make sure luggage is properly screened, the Transportation Department will conduct more federal oversight of screening procedures at the nation's airports. Frankly, there are too many amateurs screening bags at the nation's airports, as anyone who flies a lot knows.

The Transportation Department is also considering a plan to allow airline passengers who volunteer for background checks to bypass long lines at security checkpoints. The plan hinges on technology to verify a passenger's identity, such as a retinal scan or fingerprint. Airlines and airports are pushing for tamperproof "smart cards" that passengers would show at the screening area.

All of this is good. While flying has returned to near normal, many people are still afraid to fly and concerned about security. The smart cards and a uniform screen process presided over by the feds would help restore confidence.