Boston Airport Exec Blasts Easing of Security Measures

Easing of restrictions has drawn criticism from some execs, flight attendants, air marshalls

Many aviation industry officials doubt that terrorists using small, sharp objects could successfully hijack a plane today, because of major changes since the Sept. 11 attacks: hardened cockpit doors, the deployment of federal air marshals on many flights, many airplane pilots carrying guns, and terrorism-conscious passengers who are more likely to quickly fight back.

Marchi, who was a senior Massport planning executive in the 1980s and 1990s, said he knew of no other airport officials who were taking Coy's position against changing the banned-items list. But because of Logan's role in 9/11, Marchi said, "It's understandable to me that an airport like Boston would have a very, very conservative view."

Markey, who serves on the congressional Homeland Security Committee, said he backs Coy. Markey's bill, dubbed the "Leave All Blades Behind Act" -- a play on the No Child Left Behind federal education act -- would maintain the current banned-items list.

Referring to the reputed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Markey said that "allowing razor-sharp scissor blades back into the passenger cabins of aircraft is a dangerous retreat. The Bush administration proposal is just asking the next Mohamed Atta to move from box cutters to scissors."

Markey also argued that "if TSA does not have enough screeners to detect weapons-usable items like sharp scissors while also scanning for bombs, the answer is more screeners, not less scrutiny."

<<Boston Globe, The (KRT) -- 12/09/05>>