David A. Fowler
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Through the history of aviation the importance of airport security has steadily increased. Since the disastrous terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, many changes have taken place at airports to prevent such an attack from occurring again. The purpose of this paper is to: outline airport security procedures, discuss the different technologies involved with airport security, as well as examine the components of airport security. In addition I will also discuss the Transportation Security Administration's role in our nation's airport security.
Airport Security is a necessity of Life both in America and through out the world. Without airport security our airports would not be able to function and terrorist attacks resembling those of September 11th, 2001, would be more common place. Passengers would be afraid to fly in fear of such a terrorist attack happening again. The airline industry would lose more revenue from lost ticket sales. Then the airports themselves would lose money from the lack of passengers boarding through their gates. Finally this lack of security would trickle down to the entire economy not only in the communities surrounding the airport and aviation industry, but to the nation's economy as well. To keep this economic failure associated with another terrorist attack from happening, our nation must take the appropriate measures to prevent it.
"Airport security procedures are designed to deter, prevent, and respond to criminal acts that may affect safety and security of the traveling public" Wells and Young (2004, p. 280). In order for this to happen, airports must become more proactive instead of reactive to possible threats such as: hijacking, explosive devices on aircraft or any other possible criminal act that could happen aboard an aircraft. To accomplish President George W. Bush signed into effect the Aviation and Transportation security Act, on November 19th, 2001. This act was a result of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks, and from this act the Transportation Security Administration was formed.
Transportation Security Information
The purpose of the TSA is to protect all of the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce. Commercial aviation has been a long-standing target for terrorists. Since the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001, substantial changes have been made to enhance securityincluding the creation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the federalization of the passenger screener workforce. The TSA was tasked with the tremendous challenge of building a large federal agency responsible for securing all modes of transportation. Funding for the TSA is accomplished by a $2.50 charge per flight segment not to exceed $10.00 round trip, per customer.
The mission as described by the TSA website (www.tsa.gov) is as follows, "The Transportation Security Administration protects the Nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce." The vision of the TSA is, "The Transportation Security Administration will continuously set the standard for excellence in transportation security through its people, processes and technologies. The TSA also states that its values are to have excellence in public service through: integrity, innovation, and teamwork. As with any government organization the TSA has taken much criticism on its security practices.
However, one must keep in mind that this administration is still in the beginning stages, and much is still to be learned from the mistakes that have been made thus far.
The TSA employees a work force of over 50 thousand federal passenger and baggage screeners at 429 commercial service airports. Out of those 429 airports five have been chosen to be part of a pilot program. In this program the five commercial...