Airport Security in Spotlight Following Brussels Attack

Brussels, Belgium

The attack today at Brussels Airport is a stark reminder of the importance of airport security. Paul Hudson, president of and former member of the FAA/TSA Aviation Security Advisory Committee, says the latest bombings may  represent a new form of attacks that targets airports.

“While aviation security has made bombing or hijacking of airliners much more difficult, airport security is generally wide open,” Hudson said in a press release. “This needs to be tightened with perimeter bomb and weapons detection or else more airport bombings are likely to follow. Every new type of successful terrorist attack in history always generates copycat attacks until effective counter measures are put in place.”

Following the Sept. 9, 2011 attacks, National Guard and some bomb detection were set up around perimeters of major U.S. airports. Both have been taken down, allowing terrorists to enter airports with bombs without detection, says Hudson.

U.S. Travel Association met with Congress last week to discuss many travel issues including security. Roger Dow, president and CEO for U.S. Travel, is urging U.S. leaders to  embrace policies that emphasize collecting information in sophisticated and innovative ways to advance the ability to prevent attacks in the United States and abroad.

“America’s travel community is outraged and saddened by the despicable terror acts in Belgium, and we condemn those who wish nothing more than to make us all fearful of going about our daily lives in peace,” Dow said. “As with every other such horrific event, we must shortly turn to the lessons that are to be learned for our security policies, which should continue to evolve along with the volatile global threat environment.

“The fact that travel and transit nodes were the object of this violence naturally has our full attention,” Dow said. “Those who would do harm to the Western world are a deranged minority and should be treated as such—our travel security policies should work to identify and separate them from the pool of legitimate travelers so that law enforcement can focus their full resources on bad actors and prosecute them as vigorously as possible.”