So today the news is filled with the latest security alert â€“ following â€˜disruptionâ€™ of a potential plot to blow up an aircraft in flight. Of course as with most of these alerts, solid information is minimal. There are numbers of people arrested, but the rest is largely speculation from all the various experts turning up on the 24-hour news channels.
Current speculation includes that the plot involved some sort of explosive liquid â€“ based on the fact that only baby milk is being allowed on to planes, and even then it has to be taste tested.
The main result of the alert is massive disruption at airports as the levels of searching have been increased, plus everybody is having to check their cabin baggage â€“ the only thing they can carry are essential documents and medicines in a clear plastic bag.
I have to say that on the one hand Iâ€™m expecting this to be much the same as the previous big alerts, when for example we had tanks outside Heathrow, in that after the initial chaos, it will all be forgotten, and things will go pretty well back to normal. However what is causing some discussion are the advantages of the new policy on hand baggage. Somehow, a flight where everybody has a single small bag, rather than the scrum of oversized luggage boarding and leaving a plane, or the time it takes to search all the bags at security being reduced because everybody is limited to a single clear bag all seems rather appealing after some experiences I’ve had.
Update: The Register has a pretty thought provoking opinion article looking at the reaction from the US authorities to our new security measures.