When nobody’s at the controls: the recent crash only highlights the chaos of Brazil’s airline industry

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A few days after a TAM Airlines Airbus 320 touched down just outside Silo Paulo’s Congonhas airport and skidded into a gas station, igniting the worst airline disaster in Brazil’s history, five flights between the city of Sao Paulo and the United States were turned back. Apparently, the radar system monitoring Brazilian airspace had temporarily shut down.

The long delays caused by the shutdown may have been a minor concern compared to the crash, which took the lives of nearly 200 people, but they’re indicative of the deep chaos that has plagued the country’s aviation sector since last September, when a Brazilian commercial airliner crashed into a private jet over the Amazon rainforest, killing 154.

Since then, the Brazilian civilian aviation sector, whose infrastructure is still largely controlled by the military, seems to be falling apart at the seams. Most glaringly, the country’s air traffic controllers, who were blamed for the September disaster, have gone on work-to-rule to protest the government’s ongoing mishandling of the investigation into the crash.

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The situation has created long lines and it has even provoked rioting at airports across the country from frustrated passengers whose flights have been delayed or cancelled. The effort to devise a solution to the problem of chronically underpaid and understaffed air traffic controllers is a logistical nightmare in a country where there are more than 10 government agencies overseeing aviation.

“How many people will be killed before the Brazilian government stops the [air force’s] live experiments on the travelling public’s safety?” said Marc Baumgartner, the president of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers in Montreal. In a strongly worded statement to the press following the crash in Sao Paulo, Baumgartner accused the Brazilian government of “chasing scapegoats” among the Brazilian air traffic controllers instead of “re-engineering the necessary safety oversight and risk assessment to prevent Brazilian civil aviation from falling into deeper chaos.”

In a televised speech last week, Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva promised to get tough on safety and build a new airport in Sao Paulo to ease congestion. “Our aviation system, in spite of the investments we have made in the expansion and modernization of almost all Brazilian airports, is passing through difficulties,” he said. He announced several measures, including a ban on charter, cargo and executive flights to Congonhas, to ease the pressure.

Although the investigation has just begun, aviation experts say that the Airbus 320 that crashed at Congonhas, the country’s busiest airport, was too large for the airport’s short runways. Last February, a federal judge prohibited the landing of several types of aircraft at the airport, including Fokker 100, Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737-700.

Despite these safety concerns, there has continued to be tremendous pressure from commercial and political interest groups to allow large aircraft to land at the airport, conveniently located in the city’s centre, and the temporary ban was eventually overturned. Even pilots who had expressed complaints in the past felt they had no choice but to land larger aircraft at Congonhas.

“The pilot has to go. It’s his job,” said Carlos Gilberto Salvador Camacho, director of flight security for the National Union of Pilots, to a Sao Paulo newspaper last week. “There is subliminal pressure from the commercial airlines that if you don’t land there you are somehow hurting the companies that rely on their revenues from the passengers.”

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Across the country, the government’s critics are demanding that more be done to remedy a chaotic situation. “What exploded at Congonhas was not just the TAM jet and its almost 200 victims, but the credibility of the Brazilian system of civil aviation,” said Cezar Britto, the national president of the Order of Brazilian Lawyers in a written press statement after the Congonhas crash. “Ten months ago, the country felt the impact of the worst disaster in its history of civil aviation, an incident which lifted the veil off the chaos in the industry, and we completely ignored it.”

So is it safe to fly in Brazil? The experts say it is. After all, this is a country with a pioneering legacy of air travel. Brazil is the birthplace of Alberto Santos-Dumont, a pioneer of civil aviation whose contribution to air travel in the early 20th century is believed to be as important as that of the Wright brothers in the United States. “We’re dealing with a country with a tremendous aviation legacy,” says Michael Boyd, an aviation consultant based in Evergreen, Colo., “and I would like to say that order and compassion are going to come out of this disaster, but we’re dealing with governments who wait for this kind of thing to blow over.”

The I.N.S. raids airport kitchens. (Forced Departure)

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ONE DAY THIS PAST SPRING at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, immigrant employees of LSG Sky Chefs received a notice from their bosses to show up at a company meeting April 18. The employees were in for a surprise. The meeting was actually with Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) officers posing as Sky Chefs managers. More INS agents showed up and arrested twelve undocumented workers from Mexico.

Sky Chefs happened to be in the midst of negotiations with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (HERE) union over medical coverage and other issues. Dana Wise of HERE, Local 8, is reluctant to state outright that the Sky Chefs-INS stunt was a union-busting tactic or related to negotiations. But Wise will say it’s “highly inappropriate.”

“Sky Chefs has taken a very hard line approach in response to workers’ efforts to improve their working conditions,” Wise says.

The INS raid was part of Operation Tarmac, the federal government’s big push to make airports safe after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Reaching beyond metal-detector checkpoints and baggage inspections, the INS has gone into kitchens and other behind-the-scenes areas where many immigrant workers had been making a stable living.

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By the end of September, the INS had made 792 arrests resulting in 563 criminal charges, says Nancy Cohen, an agency spokeswoman.

The union maintains that if the objective of Operation Tarmac is to “ensure that travelers have confidence in their safety and security,” as an INS official told Congress last June, the emphasis on kitchen workers is misguided.

“None of the food-service workers arrested by the INS had access to the tarmac, and all of the food they make is subject to security checks,” Wise says.

“The worst thing they can do is deliver a bad plate of food,” quips Peter Rachleff, a labor historian at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sky Chefs won’t talk specifically about this case. But it did issue a statement. “We are fully cooperating with the INS and all federal agencies as it relates to the security of our facilities,” the statement says.

It’s not the only company the INS has found to be cooperative. Most of the 2,900 businesses audited by the INS in 100 airports nationwide have assisted the agency, says spokeswoman Cohen.

“The feedback we’re getting is quite positive,” she says. “They’re glad we’re there. They’re not experts in fraudulent documents.”

Rachleff says service workers had made gains in airports over the last few years. “Then 9/11 came, and the industry slid backward,” he says. “The focus on safety at airports has unfortunately been a focus on the immigrant status of workers.”

“Operation Tarmac and other INS actions can have a chilling effect,” Wise acknowledges. For unions, they create “an incredibly hostile environment.”

Nathan Marquez spent more than fourteen years working for Sky Chefs at the airport in Los Angeles. He worked his way up from about $6 an hour to $13.50. He and his wife, with her part-time job, were able to earn a living for their three children.

Then, one day this summer, he (along with many other airport workers) received a letter instructing him to report for a meeting at 9 A.M. on August 22. The letter promised “a team will be onsite to provide federally mandated training.”

“They told me I have to bring my documents and badge,” Marquez says through an interpreter, union organizer Rosalba Mata. When he showed up, they made him fill out some paperwork with his driver’s license and Social Security number.

“Then, when I finished filling out the application, they told me I had to go to another room,” he recounts. Half a dozen INS officers were waiting. It turns out that though Marquez became a U.S. citizen three years ago, he had once used a bad Social Security number.

“They grabbed me,” he says. “I didn’t know what was happening. I thought I went into the wrong room and I wasn’t supposed to be there. I asked them, you know, What's wrong?' Then they told me, Don’t worry. We’re going to let you know what is happening soon.’ Then they handcuffed me.”

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Marquez was detained for hours before a federal court in Los Angeles released him to his wife on a signature bond that night. He sorted out government paperwork to show that, indeed, he had obtained citizenship in 1999. The charges of using a false Social Security number were dropped.

But when he tried to report back to work, he didn’t have the security badge that was confiscated during the arrests. Marquez couldn’t afford the $100 replacement cost. As a result, he could not report back to work. At the end of September, Sky Chefs sent him a letter informing him he had been fired.

Marquez says he gave Sky Chefs his new valid number, but that number never made it into his file. Sky Chefs communications director at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Dallas, Dalene Nichols, says the company won’t comment on personnel matters and would not respond to questions about Marquez’s case.

“I’m devastated because I have to support my family and pay the rent and I don’t have my job,” Marquez says. “My only problem was trying to work, trying to make a living for my family, and I don’t think I deserve this treatment.”

The union is trying to get him his job back. Organizer Mata is helping fourteen others with similar stories, only they were residents, not citizens.

“It’s a very difficult and sad situation,” says Tom Walsh of Local 11 in L.A. “We have some people working over twenty years, and some of them have been legal for a number of years, but they were arrested and federal agents treated them like they were terrorists.”

Actions like the INS raids shake up workers and their unions. “There’s a long history of employers relying on government to undercut workers’ efforts to organize,” Rachleff says.

“The tarmac raids represent an experiment,” says Arnoldo Garcia of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. “How far can they push to enforce laws that have already been failures?”

He and the union organizers advocate changing immigration laws. “We think legalization of undocumented workers is the best way to provide both security against terrorist attacks and economic security for our communities,” Wise says.

The economy relies on these immigrant workers. “The fact that undocumented workers are in secure areas shows how essential they are,” Garcia says.

Marquez hopes his former employer will decide he’s essential enough to rehire. Since he was fired, he and his family have eked by with the help of the union and relatives.

“Day by day, it’s getting harder to survive without a job,” Marquez says. “When I got my citizenship, I swore that I will defend the United States and fight for this country, and in exchange, I get this.”

Erin Middlewood is a journalist in the state of Washington.

Travel: Nailing Your First ‘Bogey’

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Byline: Barney Gimbel

At 4,000 feet over the Pacific, the pilot started yelling, “Pull up! Pull up! There he goes!” With my right hand on the plane’s stick and my left hand holding on for dear life, I craned my neck to spot my enemy. I yanked back on the stick. My stomach hit the floor. All I could see was the ocean. Whoa. I was upside down.

As I looped the aircraft around, the G-forces hit 5. Suddenly my vision turned black. Ah ha! I remembered what to do from the hour of training I had before I strapped on my parachute. Grunt. Loudly. I did, and as my vision returned, there he was. I lined up my plane behind his. “Pull the trigger! Pull it now!” yelled the pilot. All the sudden, billows of smoke poured out the back of the other plane.

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“Nice job,” said my instructor at Air Combat USA (aircombat usa.com ), Jim Neubauer, a Navy vet known by his military call sign, “Nails.” After flying the plane by myself for almost four hours, it was a relief to hand over the controls to a pro.

Forget simulators, this was the real thing–and anyone can do it. There are half a dozen air-combat schools in the country–programs that put civilians in the cockpits of fighter planes, selling the closest thing to being a military pilot without joining the Air Force. For upwards of $900 a day, you’re briefed on flight safety and air-combat strategy on the ground, thrust behind the cockpit controls alongside an instructor in the air. And it’s more popular than ever–especially since the war on Iraq. Air Combat USA, which operates out of 15 airports nationwide, says its business is growing by 30 percent a year.

And it’s not just adrenaline junkies, according to the company’s owner, Mike Blackstone. Everybody from grandmothers to 8-year-olds has flown sorties in his 15 years in business. The day I flew, there was a teenage brother and sister duo, a Marine pilot and a printing salesman. “My wife read about it, and here I am,” says Clint Penfold, 56. “I’m a huge World War II fan and I really wanted to see what it was like to be in a real dogfight.” (A pilot’s license may be a handicap, experts say, because normal pilots spend most of their time avoiding this kind of flying.)

If this sounds like your cup of high-octane tea, look for a program that will keep you safe. Over 15 years, air-combat simulation has led to just three accidents (one of them fatal)–an accident rate about half that of private aviation overall, according to the FAA. To maintain that safety record, B. J. Ransbury, co-owner of Arizona’s Fighter Combat International (fightercombat.com ), says schools follow similar rules of engagement–no dogfighting below 3,000 feet–so instructors have time to recover from a novice’s mistakes. Fly with an outfit that has been around for at least three years and has carried customers on at least 1,000 dogfights. Gene Westback, of Sky Fighters (skyfighters.com ) in Denver, recommends only flying with military pilots.

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Safety issues aside, each company’s program is slightly different. Pay attention to what plane the outfit flies. Most use either the Beech-craft T-34A, the Extra 300L or the Marchetti SF260. The Marchetti is slightly more agile, but in it you sit side by side with the instructor. In the Extra and T-34A, you’re alone in the forward cockpit with just your gun sights and a seemingly never-ending blue sky. For a moment I was Tom Cruise in “Top Gun”–and that’s the whole point.

CAPTION(S): He’s on your six: Air Combat USA (above) and Fighter Combat International (left) let you experience a dogfight

Terminal case: privatizing Canada’s biggest airport provokes many questions

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Ottawa announced Aug 30, 1993, that Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport would be taken over by private owners. The move is expected to create 1,000 jobs in the province. Opponents of the plan worry that costs will increase and regulation of the airport will be more difficult.

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The news on Aug. 30 that Ottawa had concluded a general agreement” to privatize two terminals at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport meant many things to many people. For the government, it was a key step in realizing its 1987 policy to divest itself of control of Canada’s airports. It was also an opportunity for the Conservative party to create more than 1,000 new jobs in the key province of Ontario prior to a federal election. For the Pearson Development Corp. (PDC), a private consortium that includes Conservative party stalwart Donald Matthews, the deal to upgrade the airport’s Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 facilities represented the fruition of two years of work on a winning bid–and a lucrative monopoly over Canada’s largest airport. For the airlines that use Pearson, the agreement renewed concerns about escalating costs in an era of cutthroat competition. But for Chern Heed, general manager of Pearson, the announcement was downright disruptive. We’re running around now trying to fix the value of the fixtures that are part of this deal,” said Heed. That’s about 10,000 seats, ashtrays, potted plants and computers to count.”

The upheaval at Pearson airport, however, is just beginning. As soon as the lease is signed in November, PDC will start the first phase of a $700-million, 10-year renovation and construction program. Although Transport Canada and Air Canada spent $125 million to improve Terminal 2 in 1991, PDC plans to spend another $340 million by 1995 to further expand the facility. In the final stage of the proposal, in 1999, PDC plans to demolish Terminal 1 and rebuild it. The consortium forecasts that, despite the global slump in air travel, passenger traffic will grow by an average annual rate of three per cent over that period, ensuring that the new capacity at Pearson is required. But not everyone agrees that the work is necessary at this point. Said Liberal party transport critic John Manley: Those are the kind of projections that got the airline industry into trouble in the first place.”

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Indeed, at a time when airports and airlines are forced to vie ferociously for business, Pearson’s privatization has raised a host of concerns. For one thing, while many airports in the United States are owned and managed by local authorities on a not-for-profit basis, private commercial ownership could dramatically increase the costs charged both to airlines and to passengers at Pearson. That, in turn, could diminish the competitiveness of the airport and the business it generates in the local economy. Under the terms of the deal with PDC, the group has the right to charge user fees with the approval of Transport Canada.

Yet another concern is that Pearson will not fall under the auspices of a local airport authority, as are the four other airports in Canada where control was relinquished by Ottawa. According to Patrice Miron, a spokesman for federal Transport Minister Jean Corbeil, there are still hurdles to overcome and criteria to meet” before such a group is formed in Toronto. Said Miron: There is still a role for a local authority in the future.” In Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, where airport authority has already been transferred to local bodies, strategic economic development–not just profit–is considered crucial. Those concerned about the privatization of Pearson have also raised questions about the timing of the deal as well as the political ties of the consortium’s owners. PDC is comprised of two main groups, Paxport Inc. and T-3 Ltd. T-3 Ltd., which includes Claridge Group, a company owned by the Bronfman family of Montreal, is also the majority owner of Pearson’s Terminal 3. Paxport is 44-per-cent owned by the Matthews Group Ltd. and related companies controlled by London, Ont., businessman Donald Matthews. Matthews co-chaired the 1983 leadership campaign of former prime minister Brian Mulroney and he is also a former national president of the Conservative party.

The group within Paxport that assembled the Pearson bid was headed by Ray Hession, a former federal deputy minister of industry, science and technology. William Neville, who led Mulroney’s 1984 transition team, was the lobbyist for the Paxport proposal. Last week, former federal revenue minister Otto Jelinek said that he has accepted the presidency of Matthews Asia, a part of the Matthews Group.

The contract to privatize the two terminals is considered a prize, because Pearson is one of the few airports that has consistently made money for the federal government. As the hub of Canada’s air transport system, some 20 million passengers used Pearson in 1992, compared with 9.5 million in Montreal. Furthermore, Pearson’s revenues have traditionally been used to subsidize other Canadian airports.

For his part, Paxport’s chief executive officer, Jack Matthews, Donald’s son, acknowledges that he would be a fool to say there’s no political agenda attached to the timing of the deal.” But, he added, the pre-election push to privatize the airport stems principally from its potential for job creation. He also noted that there is a strong political focus on debt reduction.” One of Ottawa’s key considerations in transferring responsibility for airports is the desire to divest itself of the burden of capital-intensive maintenance and airport upgrades.

When it comes to influence with the Conservative party, however, Jack Matthews insisted that he is not really aware of such ties at my level.” In particular, he noted that Paxport had unsuccessfully bid on the contract to construct Terminal 3 in 1988, and that the bid review process this time was similarly lengthy, thorough and competitive.

Under the terms of the agreement, PDC holds a 37-year lease on the two terminals with an option to renew it for an additional 20 years. The federal government is paid an annual rent based on a percentage of gross revenues or a fixed minimum amount–whichever is higher. Ottawa now receives revenue of $23.6 million a year from the two terminals. In the first year of the lease, it will be paid $28 million, although it will defer $33 million in rent over the first several years of the lease to ensure that construction starts immediately. Transport Canada will continue, as it has at four other airports, to run security and air traffic control functions.

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At the same time, Ottawa has requested proposals for the $400-million construction of three new runways at Pearson. The Matthews Group and its Paxport partner Agra Industries Ltd. are among the groups bidding for that contract, which must be submitted by November. With so many interests, airport manager Heed says, there could be complications. We’re concerned about the co-ordination of efforts among various departments and factions,” he said. Gordon Sinclair, president of the Ottawa-based Air Transport Association of Canada added: In the aviation business you can’t afford to have one of the many subsystems foul up or there is chaos and disruption.” For the current and future managers of Canada’s largest airport, the early warning system is already on alert.

>>> View more: Getting Foreigners On Board With Airline Security

Getting Foreigners On Board With Airline Security

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Byline: Lisa Caruso

On Christmas Day 2009, according to authorities, a young Nigerian evaded security at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and nearly blew up a Northwest Airlines flight as it approached Detroit. Unlike the 9/11 terrorists, who attacked from within, 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab began his mission from outside this country’s borders, where there is only so much the United States can expect even its closest allies to do to help protect the American homeland.

Although its authority abroad is limited, the U.S. can only thwart terrorists who would attack the country with planes by working cooperatively with foreign governments, international airlines, multinational bodies, and airports worldwide, despite their sometimes conflicting agendas.

The early leaders of the Homeland Security Department and its Transportation Security Administration, which were created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, learned this lesson the hard way during their prolonged and at times bitter haggling with the European Union over how much information about transatlantic fliers the E.U. would share with the United States.

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“Other countries don’t want their policies written for them and presented to them as a fait accompli by the United States of America,” said James Loy, who served as TSA administrator from 2002 to 2003 and as deputy secretary of DHS from 2003 to 2005. “You’re also operating against basic cultural differences and things that culture A allows and culture B doesn’t,” Loy said of the Europeans’ emphasis on protecting travelers’ privacy rights compared with the Americans’ insistence on putting security needs first.

Michael Jackson, who was deputy secretary of DHS from 2005 to 2007, added, “It takes a lot of patient deliberation when you work with foreign governments. It’s essential that there be good personal and diplomatic relationships to be able to maximize security.” And if anyone should know, it’s Jackson, who led the DHS team that worked around the clock with its counterparts in the United Kingdom, the E.U., and Canada after U.K. investigators in August 2006 disrupted a plot to detonate liquid explosives on at least 10 transatlantic flights to the United States and Canada.

“Within a couple of weeks, we found that global technical and policy consensus you couldn’t have legislated” to craft what eventually became a worldwide standard for liquids in carry-on luggage. Consensus was possible, Jackson said, not only because the threat was recent and real but also because “we already had the relationships in place.” This resulted in part from twice-yearly meetings, begun by Loy, between transportation security officials in the U.S. and U.K. governments.

International consultations continue under DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute. Napolitano recently traveled to Spain and Switzerland to meet with her European partners and with representatives of international airlines to discuss international security standards, while Lute and other senior officials convened with government leaders and international airport executives to review how they screen passengers on U.S.-bound flights.

The trips follow Napolitano’s announcement earlier this month that additional security measures are being taken in the wake of the failed Christmas Day airliner bombing — including encouraging foreign airports to accelerate deployment of body scanners, which the Dutch are now doing at Schiphol with U.S.-bound passengers, and beefing up the presence of federal air marshals on inbound flights from abroad.

Those measures came on top of the new security directive for international flights to the United States that the TSA announced on January 3. The directive requires every person flying into this country who is from or connecting through one of 14 countries of interest to undergo greater security screening; it also mandates increased use of enhanced screening, as well as threat-based and random screening for all travelers flying to the United States.

But the TSA’s authority extends only so far, because its officers do not screen travelers bound for this country from airports overseas. However, in regulating airlines that fly into the United States, the TSA can fine or deny landing rights to any airline that does not meet its security standards. The agency also inspects all foreign airports from which U.S.-bound flights depart and can notify the public of which ones don’t pass muster.

The TSA currently fields some 50 inspectors in more than 300 airports and airline repair stations in more than 100 countries around the world that perform on-site security checks. The agency also maintains a cadre of 21 TSA representatives in 19 different locations who serve as transportation security liaisons to their host governments. And the TSA has six international industry representatives stationed in the United States, Singapore, and Frankfurt who work with the airline industry.

The TSA does not determine who is placed on the list of known or suspected terrorists, nor does it decide who is not allowed to fly or who is required to undergo intensive security screening. But since last year it has been taking over responsibility from the airlines for checking passengers’ names against the so-called no-fly and selectee lists, under what is known as the Secure Flight program. The agency expects to assume watch-list checks for all domestic airlines by the end of March and for all international airlines flying to the United States by the end of the year.

“Other countries don’t want their policies written for them… by the United States.”

— James Loy, former TSA administrator

Customs and Border Protection, another DHS agency, plays a role in international aviation security as well. Airlines headed to the United States are required to send the CBP basic information such as a traveler’s full name, gender, and the country issuing the traveler’s passport, which is all referred to as Advance Passenger Information System data, no later than 30 minutes before departure. The CBP uses this data to assess travelers for the potential terrorist threat they pose and can advise the airline not to allow a suspicious passenger to board the aircraft.

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., a senior member of the subcommittee that funds DHS, plans to introduce legislation that would require airlines to transmit passenger information for inbound international flights to the CBP 24 hours in advance of departure and would increase the number of TSA representatives stationed abroad, among other things.

Critics insist that rather than treating everyone — whether flying within or to the United States — as a potential terrorist, the TSA should divide travelers into low-risk groups that would undergo less screening and high-risk groups that would receive more-intense scrutiny.

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Andrew Steinberg, a partner at the Jones Day law firm and a former assistant secretary of Transportation for aviation and international affairs, said, “The way we’re going about this is all wrong. We’re spending all this money on high-tech screening of 100 percent of passengers when we do not have timely and accurate information on the .001 percent of passengers who want to do harm. We should make sure we have all of the information we would want to know about a person before boarding a plane to determine the terrorism risk they pose. Then we should do baseline screening for the majority that pose little risk and do thorough physical screening of the higher-risk people” based on the information gathered in advance, Steinberg said.

For their part, major international airlines and airports must perform the delicate balancing act of reassuring the U.S. government and public that they will help keep terrorists out of the United States without angering privacy advocates in their home countries or discouraging people from flying internationally at a time when overseas travel is the one bright spot for the ailing aviation industry.

Although leading U.S. airlines have remained mum, Robert Crandall, former head of AMR Corp. and American Airlines, said, “If you develop a program that is dreadfully intrusive and imposes greater hassles, the fact is more and more people won’t come to the United States. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

In many countries, airports have to foot the bill for security without government assistance, making them wary of crisis-driven calls for layering on expensive new technologies. Indeed, the Airports Council International, which represents the world’s airports, believes that aviation security costs “should be borne largely by the state.”

Kip Hawley, TSA administrator from 2005 to 2009, noted the magnitude of the task but was optimistic that it ultimately can be accomplished. “It’s a tough situation managing a consistent level of security across airports all over the world. We tend to fixate on the checkpoint, but it’s more than that. The job is not to secure individual flights or individual airports, but to secure the entire aviation network.”

The key, Hawley said, is that “security needs to fit inside the business process and not be an ugly bolt-on. I do not think security has to be a pain or that it has to take a lot of time if the TSA and the airports and the airlines all work together.”