LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A California lawmaker unveiled a plan Wednesday to protect Americans from potential attacks on jetliners in the U.S. after thousands of surface-to-air rockets were found missing in Libya.
Hundreds of commercial airliners that routinely fly throughout the continental U.S. could be at risk, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said.
“What I’m calling for is a plan to protect the 500 wide-body commercial aircraft that operate in America,” Boxer told KNX 1070.
An estimated 20,000 missiles turned up missing last week in the wake of a civil war that led to the ousting of dictator Moammar Gadhaffi.
Boxer’s plan — which would cost as much as $1 million per plane — would include beefing up surveillance in and around the nation’s airports.
So where would the funding come from?
“The Dept. of Defense and the Dept. of Homeland Security should budget it in their budgets,” said Boxer. ” She estimated the DoD budget at upwards of $700 billion.
And while she said the U.S. is already shifting its focus in the wake of the discovery, Boxer concedes such an attack is still highly unlikely.
“It’s going to be pretty tough for someone in America to stand out there with a shoulder-fired missile,” she said.
The White House said it will expand efforts to secure and destroy the dangerous missiles, but currently there are only a handful of Americans on the ground looking for these weapons.