15 JUNE 2002, Page 32

Fly safely with Steyn

From Captain Vincent Czaplyski

Sir: Please, please tell me whether there's a way Mark Steyn could be nominated to replace Norman Mineta as US transportation secretary, or perhaps be made director of the FBI? Do you think Tony Blair could pull some strings with George W.? 'Stop frisking crippled nuns' (1 June) should be required reading for all top US policy-makers, since it makes perfect sense.

The failure to deter the obvious airport security threats posed by young, fundamentalist Arab males has led to yet another bizarre official US security policy. Having failed to stop them from getting aboard in

the first place, Bush and company would then rather gun down my aircraft with an F16 than allow me to defend my cockpit with a firearm as a last resort. I suppose that by shooting my aircraft down he is assured that all the bad guys have been accounted for.

Vincent Czaplyski

Continental Airlines, Exeter, New Hampshire

From Anna Boulton

Sir: Max Hastings's Diary (1 June) was quite right to point out the silliness of Western society in confiscating nail scissors in air travel. Even funnier is that complete manicure sets are still obtainable duty-free during flights. What a hoot this so-called security is.

Anna Boulton

Cape Town, South Africa