There was a recent hijacking attempt in New Zealand. The attempt seems to have prompted a reporter to find out just how bad airport security is:

The reporter arrived at the domestic terminal yesterday for the 10.30am Air New Zealand flight to Napier, carrying the kitchen knife, with a 20cm blade and a toy firearm in hand luggage.

He said there were no checks and “I was free to walk on with anything I pleased”.

After checking in and simply presenting my boarding pass at the gate, I stepped on to NZ5751 for the 50-minute journey to Hawke’s Bay.

The CAA’s communications manager Bill Sommer today dismissed the stunt as “irresponsible and illegal”. He said the reporter’s action could have compromised the safety of other passengers and could have led to aircraft delays.

In other words, the Emperor doesn’t have any clothes. Let’s think a bit about Bill Sommer’s claims. The first claim, that it could have compromised the safety of other passengers is simply silly. Toy guns on planes don’t compromise safety. The 20 cm knife might, conceivably, hurt a few people. But reporters generally don’t go on attack sprees, so the only way it would have hurt someone is if a nutcase noticed the reporter had the knife, took it, and then went on the attack. That sounds pretty unlikely to me.

The second claim, that the knife and toy gun could have lead to aircraft delays is more believable. But only because Bill Sommer’s demonstration of the New Zealand’s Civial Air Administrations overall intelligence.

Would it have been too hard to say something rational like the following:

Yesterday a flaw in our airport security was demonstrated. We are embarrassed by the failure and will attempt to fix it.

That’s all the situation requires.

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