Monday, April 6, 2009

Epic Security Fail!

Air travel has been a fairly routine part of our lives for about fifty years, so we all know about the extensive security we see at airports, and certainly after 9/11 and numerous bombings we're aware of the risks that make us need the security. There's just one problem: it isn't there as much as we might think. This is yet another thing in a long list of complaints I've made that might get me on a watchlist some day, but apparently some Canadian airports are about as secure as a screen door on a submarine.

Recently, Transport Minister John Baird and Liberal Senator Colin Kenny went undercover through the country's busiest airport, Pearson International in Toronto. They were monitored from a distance by police officers, as they repeatedly went through restricted areas, including the tarmac and within reach of several aircraft. So suffice it to say, if someone wanted to put a bomb on a plane in Toronto, it would evidently not be very hard. To make matters worse, the same sort of thing is known or suspected to take place at several other airports across North America alone.

This has already royally pissed off a lot of people, and with good reason. Travellers and taxpayers pay through the nose for security measures at these airports, and we put up with tedious things like undoing belt buckles and taking off our shoes in certain areas because we're led to believe it will help prevent another terrorist attack. But the whole thing is kind of pointless, if no one working at the airport can be bothered to lock a goddamn door.

Naturally, the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, which runs security at Pearson, is not only denying that there's a security leak, but is punishing the on-site police officers who monitored the operation. Excuse me fellas, but that's not reassuring the public, that's covering your asses. The cops involved were doing their jobs, as well as answering to a higher government authority than you -- so your punishing them is called "retaliation" in legal and labour circles, good luck getting out of that one. Also, if a couple of guys in ballcaps and jackets -- with no ID -- can just waltz up to an airplane with no questions asked, you don't need to be a genius to know that that's a security breach. Enough said.

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