The thwarted London plot has prompted discussion of importing El Al's security methods to the West, writes Peter Robison for Bloomberg in "Israeli-Style Air Security, Costly and Intrusive, May Head West."
That word "costly" in the title is not an exaggeration. El Al Chairman Israel Borovich estimates "El Al's security bill at $100 million a year, which amounts to $76.92 per trip by its 1.3 million passengers. Half is paid by the Israeli government. By contrast, the TSA spent $4.58 billion on aviation security, or just $6.21 per trip by 737 million passengers, in fiscal 2005."
Doing the math, that's a difference of $70.71 per passenger. Or, the Israeli security costs more than twelve times as much as the American version. (August 18, 2006)