Is a trial balloon being floated by the Transportation and Security Administration a real idea or is it just a ploy to force Congress into providing more funding for the agency? I have to admit the thought of not standing in a TSA line at Lafayette Regional Airport sounds mighty tempting. I know a couple of thousand other travelers who might agree with me too.

Then again, if you think back to the reason why we have TSA, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, you have to remember that smaller airports played a large part. Two of the terrorists who perpetrated those attacks on the United States actually began their fateful journey at a smaller airport, Portland Maine.

Now all of the sudden you don't feel so smug about wanting to have that security screening eliminated do you?

Here's the proposed plan. TSA says by eliminating security checkpoints at 150 smaller airports, they didn't say which ones, they could save the agency $155 million dollars. The change would affect .05% of daily flights. It doesn't sound like a lot but we're talking about 10,000 passengers daily.

Just to be clear, when passengers arrive from the smaller airports they would then have to go through security at the larger airport, assuming that the airport was not their final destination.

There are certainly pros and cons to both sides of the argument. To be truthful, I don't mind airport security. The TSA folks pull about 2,500 weapons or items that could be used as weapons out of bags and away from air travelers every year. That's a lot of potential trouble that gets left on the ground and off of my plane. I like it when the trouble isn't on my flight.

So, what do you think? Save the money and suggest to the people of small-town America your safety and security in the air isn't that big of a deal? Or, do we ask Congress to spend the money to keep the smaller airport checkpoints open? Trust me, anyone who relies on votes to get a job hopes this question won't be asked for a long, long time.


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