HOW HAS AIRPORT SECURITY INTENSIFIED SINCE 9/11
Edward Waters College
We as people examine the impact of post-9/11 airport security measures on air travel in the U.S. Using five years of data on passenger volume, we evaluate the effects of the implementation of baggage screening and the federalization of passenger screening on the demand for air travel. These two congressionally mandated measures are the most visible changes in airport security following the 9/11 attacks. Exploiting the phased introduction of security measures across airports, we find that baggage screening reduced passenger volume by about five percent on all flights, and by about eight percent on flights departing from the nations fifty busiest airports. In contrast, federalizing passenger screening had little effect on passenger volume. We provide evidence that the reduction in demand was an unintended consequence of baggage screening and not the result of contemporaneous price changes, airport-specific shocks, or other factors. Moreover, this decline in air travel has substantial welfare implications. Back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate that the airline industry lost about $1.1 billion, a tenth of the projected revenue lost because of 9/11 itself. Similar calculations show that the substitution of driving for flying by those seeking to avoid security inconvenience likely lead to over 100 road fatalities.
This paper will address the September 11 attacks and the problems with airport security personnel and the outdated technology that was being used in most airports The September 11 terrorist attacks could have been avoidable if airport security was up to par with new security devices and better trained personnel. The government should have passed a new airport security law to update security devices and to make sure employees were properly trained long before September 11. Airport security would...
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