Reform of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is long overdue—as the recent passenger backlash against both the TSA’s new backscatter full body scanners and the enhanced pat-downs for those who opt out of the machines suggests. These new measures merely attempt to “fight the last war” rather than genuinely increase security for flyers. Meanwhile long lines at airports impose a significant economic cost on the nation and force some people on to the roads, where they are more likely to die in traffic accidents. Racial profiling, which some have suggested, is not the answer, as it is far too blunt a tool to provide genuinely increased security.
Instead, the TSA should be reformed to allow more flexibility and to introduce riskbased security into passenger flights.