Airport Security Post 9/11

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Since the first airport was created, airport and in-flight security have been issues of serious concern for the U.S. Government, as well as other governments around the world. The Government, which has turned to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to secure airports, has passed and redone many bills and acts trying to provide the safest and most efficient form of airport security. Before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 security in airports was considered anything but excellent, but for the most part did the job that was expected of them, making sure that people who boarded the planes did not have weapons or that no bombs made it onto the airplane. It was also on this horrendous day that the United States public took serious concern over the nation’s airport security. September 11th changed the world’s attitude on airport security, and how important of a concern the nation’s airport security was and will continue to be. The terrorist attacks also showed the entire world how easily the old system was to manipulate, and how much improvements airports needed before they could be truly considered secure.

In the early 60’s airport security wasn’t even an issue. Nothing was checked going on to the plane. Back then people felt secure, and safe. But as time went on, people started to threaten others on board. Sometimes they would even hold passengers and even the flight crew hostage. According to a CNN TV Show “Airline Security Special Report” (Turney, Bishop & Fitzgerald, 2004) In 1983, a plane was hijacked. Except in this high jacking, the highjacker got violent. After this incident happened, all carryon baggage was to be scanned and checked. This made the flyers feel a lot safer, and for a while stopped the high jacking. As time went on though, the highjackings got more sophisticated and more violent. Before September 11, 2001 people felt

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safe to fly, but then we found out how easy it was for the highjackers to get the weapons on the plane. Immediately following the attacks on the World Trade Center, the aviation world was rather frantic. The first order of business was the shutting down of all major airports in the United States to ensure no further terrorist attacks could take place. Congress and executives from airline companies were frantically searching for a way to create a secure plan for the nation’s airport security. After a few days of being shut down, the airports were reopened with a new sense for needed security. Once the airports were reopened, it was obvious that the FAA had two major problems to deal with, the first problem being that security needed to be increased immediately and the second was that people now had this new found fear of flying. This reaction brought up several immediate changes to the nation’s airports.

Changes had to happen and they had to happen quickly. “Given the economic impact of airport delays, in particular the impact on business travelers and potential revenue from the source, it is imperative that authorities and regulators consider the outcomes and effectiveness of implementing security measures, such as armed pilots, secured cockpits, baggage matching, electronic scanning, passenger searches, and sniffer devices. Significant changes in security measures have been ongoing at major airports in the United States over the past year. Some of these changes represent knee-jerk reactions to 9/11. Other changes had long been planned for implementation as technology advanced.” (Turney, Bishop & Fitzgerald, 2004) The government administered studies of the flight crews and cabin crews to determine their perceptions about the relative importance of security measures. “A survey was developed through a focus group of crew members whose work enabled them to observe and interact with Carpenter 4

security measures on a daily or regular basis. Results of the nearly 100 responses indicate some significant concerns about the importance of...
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