The National Business Travel Association surveyed 150 travel managers and found that the vast majority, 81%, have no plans to reduce business travel out of concerns about the Dec. 25 Northwest Airlines flight attempted bombing.
While 43% expressed safety concerns about the incident and 42% had no new concerns about air safety, NBTA Executive Director and COO Michael McCormick says: "NBTA encourages governments and airports to strike the proper balance of safety and efficiency in these new regulations and future policy changes."
McCormick calls for improvements to physical screening, watch lists and "risk-management programs."
But, is there really a proper balance between air safety and efficiency, and is risk management the way to go?
Travel companies -- albeit somewhat understandably -- always are ready to downplay security concerns because worries among leisure and business travelers will impact airlines, cruise lines, hotels, car rental companies -- the gamut of travel companies.
But, "balance" and "risk management" conjure images of some people having to go through trace and bulk explosives detection equipment, or whole body imaging scanners, and other people being allowed to skip the process.
Under the Jan. 4 TSA regulations, 100% of the people who take flights originating or stopping in 14 terror states or countries of interest will get enhanced physical screening, and only "a majority" of the remainder of travelers will get such treatment.
Thus, a minority -- who knows how large -- will slip through without rigorous screening.
In a Tnooz post here, an ex-U.S. counter-terrorism official likened risk-based approaches -- i.e. “threat-based security" -- to Kreskin trying "to figure out where the threat came from.”
It only takes one person to pass through unscreened to get a bomb onboard an airliner.
Does the right balance mean your plane beat the odds and landed safely when perhaps someone else's plane was unlucky enough to get blown to bits?