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How 9 11 Impacted the Air Domain and AviationResearch Paper

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Aviation Transportation Security

The importance of interagency cooperation to the success of the Aviation Transportation System Security Plan is demonstrated by the fact that daily "airports process millions of passengers and thousands of tons of cargo" -- a point that could not be possible were there not some interagency cooperation across the country (Aviation Transportation System Security Plan, 2007, p. 8). With close to a million workers within airport secure zones, there must be interagency cooperation to ensure that these zones are tight, safe, and never compromised.

Likewise there are "thousands of critical infrastructure elements" within the Air Domain, which must be safeguarded lest the Aviation Transportation System come crashing down to earth in an explosion of chaos (Aviation Transportation System Security Plan, 2007, p. 8). Indeed, the very "security and economic prosperity" of the U.S. is at stake, when one considers the safeguarding of America's skies, which are lanes of commercial and personal movement that must be protected to ensure everyone and everything gets where it is going (National Strategy for Aviation Security, 2007, p. 2). Coordinating the necessary level of protection should be a top priority of a number of agencies with the U.S. government, which overseas both domestic and international policy.

Strategies for accomplishing cooperation have been addressed by Homeland Security in the wake of 9/11. The main strategy is the coordination with the Joint Program Development Office (JPDO) along with the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice and the Department of State to ensure that terrorist attacks/hijackings like the one exercised on 9/11 will not be repeated. Included in this strategy is the monitoring of all MANPAD sites, which can be used to bring down commercial airliners. The recent downing of a Russian commercial airliner in Egypt is the exact kind of terrorist attack that we wish to prevent, and thus coordination with these departments is essential in monitoring the location of these weapons and making sure they do not fall into the wrong hands.

Another strategy to be recommended is the development of a structure involving the DHS, DoD and the Department of Transportation in the detection, prevention and coordinated response to cyber attacks that could cause failure within the Aviation Transportation System. Thus, monitoring of cyber space becomes an essential element of this strategy. Another part of the strategy is to develop adequate risk management that takes into account the possibility of high-tech attacks, such as cyber attacks, radio attacks and electromagnetic pulse wars (Aviation Transportation System Security Plan, 2007, p. 15).

The ultimate strategy, however, will be a culmination of plans devised to address seven separate spheres: those spheres are aviation security, threat response, system recovery, surveillance and intelligence coordination, threat reduction, domestic outreach, and international outreach. These last two points of the strategy indicate that the overall strategic integration is a two-fold step that must be coordinated on both a domestic and foreign level of operation because the skies, truly, belong to all.

Such strategy is necessary because the events of 9/11 impacted both international and national commercial aviation and airport operations (as it applies to the U.S. aviation industry) in terms of safety and operations (for example, no one flies anymore without first being scanned by TSA operators.

9/11 impacted international and national commercial aviation and airport operations in other ways as well. The DHS issued security threat level warnings in the wake of 9/11 that have gone on for years, keeping the flying public in a constant state of caution. Every airport, of course, is different in terms of operational response but in so far as a new standard of preparation is concerned, each must meet certain requirements of the federal government in order to ensure that safe travel is not only possible but guaranteed.

Awareness of the interconnectedness of the global nations has also been heightened in the wake of 9/11 to such an extent that we now view the whole world as our neighbor and therefore operate with tactical and military forces in a manner that suggests that every part of the earth affects or impacts the strength and durability of America. One example of this, for instance, is America's sending of war ships to the South China Seas just to show to China that it has a need to be everywhere at all times and to show that whatever China does in its own backyard should be considered of "vital national interest" to the American government which is focused… [END OF PREVIEW]

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