Do You Have a 25 Foot Tall Security Fence At Your Local Airport? Who Are We Keeping Out, Bigfoot?
By Lance Winslow

Well, if the terrorists don't get us the bureaucracy surely will. Kind of reminds me of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" when I think about it. Recently, our local newspaper noted that the airport here was putting in a 25-foot high security fence around the perimeter of the airport, but why? So, no one climbs over, or if they do, they will be head and shoulders above the local Yucca Tree population and thus, be seen by the Air Traffic Control personnel between short naps? Seriously, our airport isn't that busy here. Okay so, let's talk.

The Desert Sun ran a picture on the front page with a caption; Palm Springs Airport gets 25-foot Tall Fence," and the photographer was just able to get a private jet landing in the background, I wonder how long he had to wait for that excellent photo-op shot? Like I said it isn't that busy at Palm Springs Airport. On June 7, 2012 the paper ran a short 400 word article titled; "Palm Springs International Airport replaces fencing," written by Blake Herzog explaining that it was due to Department of Homeland Security upgrades.

In my humble opinion and as a taxpayer, I'd say; this is a waste of money, but as a pilot, I'd say it's actually dangerous. You see, aircraft that get into trouble and crash usually have challenges near and around the airport during takeoff and landings. So, if the engine quits on take-off, or the aircraft is in trouble trying to make the airport, the DHS wants to make sure there is one last hurdle and barrier to get over - well, thanks a lot, I say.

Look, here is my point. If we want to prevent terrorist acts, why not put in a more robust defense at our borders with Mexico? Who are we trying to keep out of the airport - Bigfoot? If a person can climb over and eight or 10 foot chain-link fence, then obviously they can climb over one that's 25 foot tall. Yes, there is a greater chance that they might twist their ankle coming down the other side, and it does provide more deterrence, but is it really making us any safer?

When we look at the cost, and the danger to light aircraft, it just makes no sense. We don't allow buildings at the end of the runway that are 25 feet high, so why are we putting up a fence to catch all the low-flying planes? This isn't an aircraft carrier, we hardly need arresting wires. Sometimes it seems that bureaucracy is out of control, and wasting money on things that are clearly ridiculous. At some point we need to get some common sense back into the DHS, FAA, and the rest of our bureaucracy. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Aircraft Business Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

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