Perceived Risk

Why does Mayor Daley hate small planes so much? Is that he that big of a Buddy Holly fan? He destroyed Meigs Field in the middle of the night, and after Cory Lidle’s airplane accident in New York Daley, as usual, called for a no-fly zone over Chicago. Phil Boyer, writing for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association points out the difference between the perceived risk from small aircraft:

Number of people killed by a terrorist attack using a GA aircraft? Zero.
Number of people injured by a terrorist attack using a GA aircraft? Zero.
Property damage from a terrorist attack using a GA aircraft? None.

and from other threats that Daley would never call for a ban on:

Banning all vans within cities. A small panel van was used in the first World Trade Center attack. The bomb, which weighed 1,500 pounds, killed six and injured 1,042.
Banning all box trucks from cities. Timothy McVeigh’s rented Ryder truck carried a 5,000-pound bomb that killed 168 in Oklahoma City.
Banning all semi-trailer trucks. They can carry bombs weighing more than 50,000 pounds.
Banning newspapers on subways. That’s how the terrorists hid packages of sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway system. They killed 12.
Banning backpacks on all buses and subways. That’s how the terrorists got the bombs into the London subway system. They killed 52.

The point, of course, is not to actually ban vans, backpacks, or newspapers. It’s to be realistic about risk. And to stop hating on small planes.

(via Schneier on Security)

2 Comments so far

  1. Joseph J. Finn (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2006 @ 8:41 pm

    Meh. I can’t care too much about this, since it simply an excuse to get rid of a useless airport and return the area to what it should have been from the beginning: parkland.

  2. Fuzzy (unregistered) on October 24th, 2006 @ 12:23 am

    I love parkland. But if you’re doing it to increase parkland, say “We’re doing this to increase parkland.” Don’t wave the “terrorism” flag in everyone’s face to distract them while you go about your midnight skulking.

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