Why Don’t We Adopt Israel’s Airport Security Model

A matter of scale:

On the other hand, no matter how safe or how wonderful the flying experience on El Al, it is TINY airline by U.S. standards, with only 38 aircraft, 46 destinations, and fewer than two million passengers in 2008. As near as I can tell, Cairo is their only destination in a majority Muslim country. Delta, before the Northwest merger is included, reported 449 aircraft and 375 destinations.

Ben Gurion Airport is Israel’s primary (not only) international gateway. In 2008, Ben Gurion served 11.1 million international passengers and 470,000 domestic passengers, roughly comparable to the 10 million total served at Sacramento, the airport I use most often. Amsterdam served 47.4 million total, and Detroit served 35.1 million total in 2008.

By American standards, in terms of passengers served, Ben Gurion is a busy regional airport. And let’s face it, domestic air travel within Israel is quite small because it is a small country. One can get from one place to another without flying.

(via Schneier on Security)