Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Tuesday rebuffed suggestions that U.S. airports should adopt the practices of airports in Israel, calling the Israeli air travel system “a very different model.”
“We share a common goal, which is to protect the people of our countries from terror or other attacks,” Napolitano told Fox News ahead of a tour of security facilities at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport. But there are many differences in the United States system versus Israel. Part of that is driven by sheer size.”
Critics of U.S. security methods, particularly full body scans and the so-called “invasive pat down” used by the Transportation Security Administration, have called for American airports to adopt Israeli-style security measures, which rely heavily on behavioral profiling of travelers.
But Napolitano said that what is effective in Israel, a nation of 7.3 million, wouldn’t necessarily work for 310 million Americans.
Ben-Gurion is Israel’s only major international airport. The United States, however, has 450 such facilities. Plus, about 11 million people pass through Israeli airports each year, while 70 times that many passengers go through American airports each year.