It’s relevant to the industry.
Every other form of attack on aviation that started somewhere else eventually came to us.
Hijackings, bombings, suicide attacks, so why wouldn’t we think this too would arrive here? There’s no good answer.
Even the 9/11 commission concludes that signs this could happen to us were there, but there was no energy to reform aviation security on the one side, and there was an intelligence failure due to inter-agency turf wars blocking information sharing on the other.
So we were left with a vulnerability we were just hoping our enemies wouldn’t stumble into.
Had we implemented just the changes that came out of TWA 800, and were already written into law, there wouldn’t have been a 9/11.
Let me tell you something that’s little known outside the aviation industry.
It’s likely the pilots voulantarily gave control to the terrorists. Why? Because that was official U.S. policy at the time.
It was called the Common Strategy.
Why was this our policy? Because we immediately assumed that any hijackings were just a hostage crisis, therefore, everything should be done to de-escalate the situation as quickly as possible. Get the plane on the ground, let authorities sort it out.
It was a holdover from the 1970s when things like Dawson’s field were going on.
Does that sound like good policy to you?
Israel and France did. It saved lives, as they didn’t have a common strategy like ours. We should have followed their lead.