Airline terror check 'kneejerk reaction'

Issue 405

A MIRFIELDborn photographer who flies up to 150,000 miles a year has condemned the kneejerk reaction of the authorities to the latest airline terror attack.

David Arran, 43, who now lives in Miami, Florida, was back in Britain over Christmas staying with mum Pauline ArranJones in Liversedge.

Former Castle Hall and Mirfield High School student David, who emigrated to the States in 1996, was in the Spen Valley when bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to bring down a Detroitbound flight on Christmas Day.

David jetted home on Monday of last week amid heightened security fears. He described his flight out of Manchester Airport as fairly uneventful and landed back home safe.

David said there was additional gate security at Manchester and every passenger was subjected to a mandatory search of hand luggage and a patdown. However David described the patdown search as cursory at best.

In an email to The Press, David said he had been expecting tougher inflight security but added: Inflight entertainment systems were available throughout the flight, including the flight tracking system, carryon bags were accessible until final approach, as were lavatories.

No blankets, pillows or other items were removed from passengers laps.

It appears that the wave of criticism of the new measures (none of which could reasonably be expected to prevent a repeat of the incident), from media and public alike, forced a rethink.

David said some of the security measures, such as liquid restrictions and the removal of shoes at checkpoints, were mere theatre.

He added: It seems every air travel related terrorist incident since 9/11 has resulted in kneejerk reactions in terms of additional security which merely give the illusion of safety and erode our freedoms.

David said it was still more dangerous to drive on the roads than fly and said the new security measures were more likely to keep him off a plane than the miniscule chance of being involved in a terrorist attack.

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