How Should U.S. Airports Respond to Moscow Bombing?

by  Molly Fergus | Jan 26, 2011
TSA security checkpoint
TSA security checkpoint / PhonlamaiPhoto/iStock

Although air travel has largely returned to normal since a suicide bomber attacked Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport Monday morning (remarkably, flights resumed about 20 minutes after the blast), the strike exposed a gap in airport securities worldwide and kindled yet another set of questions about how to implement effective safety precautions.

Notably, the Moscow terrorist attacked the arrivals hall, an area often open to the public, considered safe, and staffed with fewer police because passengers are leaving the airport and security has already screened the suitcases rolling through baggage claim.

The incident convinced Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to demand that airport officials outline new security proposals within the next two weeks, indicating that those safety measures should include an alert system for all public transportation and tougher checks on airline passengers.

Domodedovo, as well as airports worldwide, could mimic the procedure at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, where all cars go through a screening a couple miles down the road before reaching the terminal. Although Ben Gurion is considered the safest airport in the world, implementing similar checkpoints in major urban areas like New York City and Los Angeles could cause massive traffic jams and even more headaches for travelers - and makes us wonder if such stringent methods are worth it on a larger scale.

After all, determined terrorists could attack any crowded location – a theme park, a football stadium – without having to step foot in a body scanning machine or untie their shoes before entering. Do you think the extra hassle (and cost) of additional security is a good trade?

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