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Delays Create InsecurityFor Those Insuring Airlines

The ink is barely dry on the airline security law signed by President George W. Bush last month, and already there are problems with its implementation. This is unacceptable at a time when passengers and aviation insurers need to be reassured that it is indeed relatively safe to fly once again.

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta created a stir last week when he flatly stated that it is not possible to meet the law’s Jan. 19 deadline to screen all luggage for explosives. The law gave the Transportation Department two months to begin screening every bag, whether via manual searches, X-rays or bomb-sniffing dogs. The government was given an additional year–until Dec. 31, 2002–to pass all checked baggage through machines that can detect even small amounts of explosive material.

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