MANPADS Protection–is it time?

Many of you, dear students, won’t know what MANPADS is, and that is quite understandable. It is defined as a “Man-portable Air Defense System.” That obviously includes such systems as Stinger missiles. Interestingly, we as a nation are now more concerned about them as an attack rather than a defense, system. Misnomer aside, this article “ATA Position: Counter MANPADS Deployment” outlines the case from the position of the Air Transport Association.

“Among the terrorist threats we are confronting, the risk of a MANPADS attack on a commercial airliner is an extremely serious concern. So too, however, are threats from other types of weapons and tactics that might be utilized by those intent on harming our nation by attacking our aviation system. Therefore, it is critically important in confronting all of these threats that we be guided by the best intelligence and law enforcement information available. With this information, we can apply a systematic risk management program to determine how to best marshal available resources.”

The article outlines the case for MANPADS protection, but also lists a series of questions that must be addressed before any real action can be taken to protect civil travel from such threats. The questions are listed at the end of the article, and I encourage all of you to go read them. They are thoughtful and I believe useful in helping to frame a realistic debate on the benefits, approaches, and effectiveness of MANPADS defense. I look forward to reading your thoughts on the threats to our commercial air system. How much do you think we should spend on systems like these? Are you willing to pay more for your airline ticket for this level of safety? And what is your answer to the liability question?




2 thoughts on “MANPADS Protection–is it time?

  1. This is a REDO.
    So in civilian terms, MANPADS should be a concern for regular people flying in regular airplanes? I don’t think I would pay more money for MANPADS protection. I would pay extra money to fly in an airplane that is newer than 1978. I am not so much worried about my trip to Miami, Fl in an airplane as I am having an airplane crash into my house. (I live only 11 miles away from an airport)
    I must say that liability should rest in the users hands. There is a risk that the consumer has maybe “beta” maybe and that should be a risk for which the owners of the manpad protection are responsible. Come on…Let’s sue the makers of the antiMANPADS because it sought out a small aircraft instead of the heat seeking missile – Oh we are dead… If we are blogging about government issues and MANPADS as terrorist attacks etc. Is the NSA going to log this in their database. Geez, I must say I am so impressed with NSA and how it works…I want it to protect me. I would pay more money for tickets to increase the level of protection. (Sarcasm – don’t tell the NSA!)

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