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Effect Of 9/11/01 On Aviation Essay

1044 words - 4 pages

     September 11, 2001 is a day that will forever live in infamy inside the hearts and minds of American citizens. On that morning, the world saw live the destruction and devastation that terrorism can deliver right to our own backyard. Shocking images of the whole tragedy can still be seen on television even now, a whole six months later, yet even now it still seems unimaginable. As most Americans know, the Federal Government has implemented a huge amount of change to our foreign and domestic policies as a result of 9/11. The most noticeable of these in our everyday lives can be seen in our nation’s airports. Huge amounts of money and resources have been spent to help make sure that such a travesty will never happen again. The intent of this essay is to give examples of how these efforts have changed airport security and how they have personally changed my life as a checkpoint security screener.
     Immediately after the second plane struck the World Trade Center, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shut down every airport in America. It would be three days until any non-military aircraft entered the atmosphere over our country. Airports were allowed to re-open, but very stringent security guidelines were put in place. No longer would people who accompanied passengers be allowed to venture past security checkpoints, and passengers themselves had to be subjected to many more checks. When U.S. airports resumed business, all of the flying public had to go through secondary random bag searches and hand wand metal detector searches. The FAA issued new security directives on an almost daily basis, thus changing checkpoint procedures quite often. These procedure changes ranged from the usage of passenger pat down searches to explosive tracing of shoes and laptop computers. Needless to say, not only the public but also security employees found themselves confused during the screening process. In addition to new checkpoint policies, the FAA also mandated new security guidelines for airport ticket counters and boarding gates.
     After September, airline patrons found it much more difficult to board flights. One ran the risk at the ticket counter of being randomly selected for a full baggage search. This search entails the inspection of every item a passenger brings with them, including carry-on and checked baggage. The person also has an identifying mark on their ticket informing airline employees at the boarding gate to subject the person to yet another screening dilemma. It is at this point, after the passengers have had themselves and their property searched twice (at the ticket counter and security checkpoint), do they again become subject to hand wands, pat downs, and bag searches. Only after all of these procedures have been completed is the passenger allowed to board the aircraft. Although all the checks that passengers go through may be tedious, they are not...

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