This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," March 14, 2005, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: What if I way tell you there is a way to screen every person's bag at the airport without the long lines? There is. The airports want it. The government wants it. The problem is no one really wants to pay for it. What is it?
Joining us now, the chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, Republican John Mica of Florida. What is it?
REP. JOHN MICA, R-FLA., CHAIRMAN, HOUSE AVIATION SUBCOMMITTEE: Good to be with you, Neil.
And one of the things that we're looking at is a way to improve the in-line screening of checked baggage. We've only done about — well, less than a dozen airports, and very few of the major airports across the country.
So, it's something that needs to be done, it can give us much better detection of explosives and other dangerous material, and use a fraction of the TSA employees that we have.
CAVUTO: So it's every step of the way, right, Congressman, that you can check. The problem is the price tag: at $5 billion, no one wants to pay for it. How do you get around that?
MICA: That's true. Well, the administration has recently proposed an increase in $3 fee for security checks, and that raises over $2 billion a year. And if we instituted that for three years, and had a sunset provision, we could fund the security technology that we need in place, reduce probably by 60 percent the number of personnel and save money in the long term.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you, sir, do you think that the next incident, if there is to be one in the skies, would be baggage related?
MICA: Well, we don't know. I think our biggest danger is explosives carried onboard, suicide bombers. When people are willing to give up their own life for a terrorist act, anything is possible. Richard Reid was that kind of person.
CAVUTO: Good point. How likely do you think it is, with all the measures we've taken, all of the measures I know you've shepherded? How likely is that?
MICA: Well, I think that's the most likely. I think the two biggest dangers are one, someone carrying explosives onboard, because we have mostly metal detectors at the airport.
And secondly, a shoulder launched missile, the proliferation of them around the world. I think we'll see an international incident, maybe not a domestic, where they finally succeed in taking down an aircraft.
Those are our biggest risks right now.
CAVUTO: All right. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Congressman John Mica from the House gallery. Thank you, sir.
MICA: Thank you.
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