1. Airport access remains one of aviation's most glaring vulnerabilities.

Reports will begin to trickle out that one of the plotters worked at Heathrow and had a security clearance. This highlights how at airports around the world, more and more emphasis is being placed on the "front door", i.e. passengers and crew, while still far too little attention is paid to the "back door" like airport employees, contractors, et. al.

2.This is serious stuff.

The plotters included a husband, wife, and their six-month old baby who planned to execute their part of the mission by detonating an explosion on-board one of the aircraft.

3. Al-qaeda still reveres attacks on commercial aviation. Here is a incomplete list of major attacks- successful and thwarted- since 9-11:

Richard Reid the shoe-bomber, December 2001; SAM attack against Isreali airliner over Nairobi, November 2002; attempted suicide hijacker takeover over Mexicana Airliner with goal of hitting Las Vegas Strip, winter 2003; foiled attack of BA 747 at Riyadh International by a general aviation aircraft laden with explosives, February 2004; female suicide bombers detonate themselves on two separate domestic flights in Russia killing more than 200 people, July 2004.