<center>Letters to the Editor</center>
The terrorist attacks in New York and Washington brings to mind as to whether U.S. security at major airports are too lax and whether U.S. intelligence has been lulled into apathy and indifference, allowing a tragedy such as this to occur.
Would tighter security measures have prevented these tragedies? The question begs answers on the part of the U.S. Government officials and the major airlines. Some major changes are in order.
First and foremost, the cockpits of all major airlines should be totally secured from any passengers or flight attendants, with steel doors so that no one has access to the pilots during flights and that all communications be one way from the pilots to the flight attendants.
Secondly, all carry on should be discontinued and all keys and coins be checked at the counters, leaving nothing but wallets on the persons of the passengers. On every flight there should be a medical doctor, a terrorist expert and a retired pilot among the passengers. In case of a terrorist attack in flight, the plane could be placed on autopilot with a programmed device to land the plane at the nearest airport. No manual control of the plane would be possible once the plane is placed on autopilot.
Finally, a full background of all passengers should be made prior to the issuing of tickets and every passenger should be fingerprinted.
This is just a basic improvement to replace the present minimum requirements. The safety of the passengers would at least require this much additional precaution in light of what has happened in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.