The following editorial appeared Friday on Bloomberg View:
Plane crashes always stir up deep human anxieties. But Thursday’s downing of EgyptAir Flight 804 – which crashed en route from Paris to Cairo, killing 66 people – may be more unnerving than most.
The plane was relatively new. Both pilots were experienced.
As the investigation gets under way, three larger points are worth bearing in mind.
One is that airport personnel increasingly represent a weak point in the global security cordon. Intelligence officials have worried for years about radicalization among staff at Charles de Gaulle Airport, where Flight 804 originated.
Second, too many airports still lack sophisticated security technology and properly trained staff.
A final point is to remember to keep calm. Last year was the safest on record for air travel. Much of the point of airborne terrorism is to stoke irrational fear in the flying public, and provoke governments into overreaction.
Refusing to acquiesce in this dark cycle is, in the end, the best repudiation to terrorists. And putting better defenses in place is the best way to ensure their terrible schemes don’t pay off.