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RAND Corp Tells Hahn: "Re-LAX"

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The RAND Corporation has produced a new study of Mayor James Hahn's proposal to expand and realign LAX, and they have concluded that the $9 billion plan will do little to enhance the security of the airport.

Besides spelling out several chilling terrorist attack scenarios, the study finds that the most effective method of preventing a devasting attack on the airport is to limit the concentration of passengers in any one place.

However, creating a bottleneck of passengers is exactly what the Hahn plan will do by moving check-in operations to a consolidated off-site location. Such a collection of soft targets (ie, passengers) is sure to draw the interests of terrorists, who were narrowly prevented from blowing up the airport during the run-up to the Millennium celebration.

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Mayor Hahn is taking a huge chance by putting all his eggs in one basket. As a public servant he should place the public welfare over political considerations, even if his plan needs to go back to the drawing board for major changes. A successful strike on the passenger collection area would have devastating consequences, in both human and economic losses.

We should not take that chance.