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Airport Security Improvements Before And After The September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack

1210 words - 5 pages

Running head: Airport Security

Airport Security Improvements Before and After the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack

Andrew Fuller

South Carolina State University


The purpose of this study is to research improvements that have been made since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack and study airport security before September 11. According to ABC News 4 much has changed in our country over the last seven years including airport security. Air travel has been greatly affected by 9/11. Security measures have caused an increase in passengers to face many more steps before boarding flights. In November 2001 The Transportation Security ...view middle of the document...

Then, you walked through a metal detector, after putting your keys, coin change and pocket knife (or box cutter) through an x-ray machine. Except for international flights, checked bags were not x-rayed or otherwise inspected. If you were served a meal on board, you may have been provided with a metal dinner knife. Then after the attack sharp objects such as knives, screwdrivers, box cutters and etc. were not permitted on neither domestic or international flights.

The purpose of this study is to research improvements that have been made since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Even though there are no entries on airport security specifically we know that extensive changes have occurred over the last ten years. I propose that airport security is not at is final stage and that there is still more improvements to come.

Literature and Theoretical Perspective

According to Frederickson and LaPorte, the events of 911 have raised troubling questions regarding the reliability and security of American commercial air travel. They believe that for commercial air travel to be highly secure, there must be very high levels of technical competence and sustained performance, regular training, structure redundancy, collegial, decentralized authority patterns, processes that reward error discovery and correction, adequate and reliable funding, high mission valence, reliable and timely information, and protection from external interference in operations.

Other research also states that the airport security system in place in early September of 2001 was fragmented. Security was the joint responsibility of airport operators, airlines, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). More than 400 airports in the United States were responsible for providing a law enforcement presence. They also were charged with controlling access to the secure areas of the airport and for policing the perimeter of the airport. Some airport authorities contracted with private security firms, whereas others operated their own security or used regular police forces.
Airlines, numbering more than 100 carriers, were responsible for security of the aircraft. They were responsible for the screening of passengers, baggage, and other cargo for weapons and explosives. Airlines contracted with private security companies to do the screening.
Seidenstat also discusses how airport security has changed since the terrorist attack. He states that after this event the government had three actions they could take. The nation could upgrade the present system, shift the entire responsibility to airport managers, or federalize the security system. The current security measures are also being appreciated by travelers, especially the ones who travel often.

Materials and Procedures

The airport of concentration for this project is Columbia Metropolitan Airport in Columbia, South Carolina. This airport was selected because it is...

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