Delays Create InsecurityFor Those Insuring Airlines

The ink is barely dry on the airline security law signed byPresident George W. Bush last month, and already there are problemswith its implementation. This is unacceptable at a time whenpassengers and aviation insurers need to be reassured that it isindeed relatively safe to fly once again.

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta created a stir last weekwhen he flatly stated that it is not possible to meet the law'sJan. 19 deadline to screen all luggage for explosives. The law gavethe Transportation Department two months to begin screening everybag, whether via manual searches, X-rays or bomb-sniffing dogs. Thegovernment was given an additional year–until Dec. 31, 2002–to passall checked baggage through machines that can detect even smallamounts of explosive material.

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