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There is an easier way to fix it: Incentivize safety. Get rid of the TSA all-together, and charge the departing airport for the damages caused by any attempted or successful attack. The airport will have to balance the risk of an attack leaving from their location with the risk of losing all their money from people not flying. It's the same calculation they use (more or less) when they buy their insurance, so it should be a no-brainer.

On top of that, actually punish people for willful violations of basic constitutional rights to keep whoever the airports hire from getting too big for their breeches (unlike the TSA...), and the problem -- if it actually exist -- should resolve itself.

Arguably, there is already an incentive for airports to opt out of using the TSA: doing so allows them to provide better customer service which is a competitive advantage. In theory airports are not required to use the TSA - http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/us/airports-with-new-law-a...

I agree in theory, but the last airport that tried to do that got threatened by the feds with being shutdown, and the FAA said that they would shut down the airspace around it. So they _can_ kick out the TSA, but that would mean that they would have to shutter the doors.

Who exactly is this "airport" you would hold accountable? Who owns SFO?

Have you tried buying terrorism insurance recently? Guess who the primary provider of that insurance is.

Would your proposed model have prevented 9/11 somehow?

> Who owns SFO?

The San Francisco Airport Commission. Or am I not understanding the question?

As pointed out by taejo the San Francisco Airport Commission. Also I haven't tried to purchase terrorism insurance recently. The last time I did that was in 2005, and I bought it from Standard. It was for a VIP and travelling party, so on a smaller scale, but they'll insure anything to anyone for which there are statistics and money. 1-in-30,000,000 for an individual, it shouldn't be too hard to scale that to a airliner or even a whole airport.

Would it have stopped 9/11? Did the TSA? Did anything else we tried? Nope. Because we didn't know about it until it happened. What it would have done is made sure that the cost of the cleanup and re-build didn't turn into a decade+ long charlie-foxtrot situation, and would have incentivized the airports to not let it happen again, instead of just putting on a show.

though I'm there with you in spirit, clearly there need be some kind of national oversight. airlines are too "big a deal" to fail in the way you describe.

What makes an airplane with 100 people on it more "big a deal" than a bus with the same?

The effort spent on security is wildly disproportionate to the risk-- based, it seems, on the supposition that terrorists care fabulously more about damaging faith in American air travel than actually killing Americans.

I'm not saying I know anything one way or another, but that seems crazy.

An airplane can easily go off course and (busses don't work too well off road), and hit anything, taking down large buildings and downtown areas. A bus could easily kill the 100 passengers and some nearby cars.

I recall a U-haul taking out a Federal building some year back.

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