This week's report of repercussions to flight operators in the Olympic corridor is likely a surprise to no one. Security measures are needed to ensure the safety of the local population and Olympic visitors. But is the Integrated Security Unit (ISU) really motivated solely by safety?
Questions surrounding overzealous air security have been non-stop since 9/11.
As anyone that has boarded a plane since then can attest to, there's no longer anything friendly about flying the skies. New security measures went into effect when airports opened three days after the attacks on U.S. territory.
People were made to wait in long lines to be searched for implements, which could be used to take over aircraft: knives, knitting needles, toenail clippers, even eyelash curlers.
Checks on U.S. air travellers have included strip searches, called "private screenings." The U.S. even proposed a program that would see all 115 U.S. airports that handle international flights subject all foreign travellers entering the U.S. to fingerprinting and photographing.
But paradoxically, anti-terrorist measures proven to be more effective, such as positive checked baggage to passenger matching, were not implemented.
It hints at a motivation not entirely at the forefront. And the rational behind 2010 security measures also hints at broader implications than merely keeping people safe, not the least of which is to keep the U.S. appeased. The federal government's Canada Gazette puts it succinctly:
"The successful deployment of Canada's aviation regime would greatly reduce the risk of lives being lost to terrorism or other unlawful interference with aviation - and, by doing so, ensure the continuation of $1.5 billion a day in trade across the Canada-U.S. border and of more than 1,200 daily flights between Canada and its largest trading partner."
Operators feeling the brunt of the air restrictions may cry foul and level accusations of paranoia in a post-9/11 world, but their cries will undoubtedly fall of deaf ears - security forces have much bigger fish to fry.
The Gazette states that restrictions must be implemented to maintain Canada's international reputation as a major player.
"The visibility and effectiveness of this proposal will demonstrate to G8 partners and the broader international community, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the depth of Canada's commitment and capacity to mitigate successfully the inherent risks posed by the hosting of major events."
So the show of strength is occurring, in part, for its own sake. But take heed you small flight businesses losing hefty funds, your sacrifice is for the good of the country.