Airport Security After 9-11 Thesis

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Airport Security

Already affected by high oil prices, labor union problems and falling demand the airline industry is at the brink of a crisis and security concerns are adding to their woes. Increasingly passengers are beginning to feel the agony of having to wait in the long lines, being subjected to a pat down search, baggage bottlenecks and the continuously changing carry-on restrictions. It is a formidable task for airline industry to balance the stringent security requirements with consumer convenience.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Thesis on Airport Security After 9-11 Assignment

The 9/11 attacks created such a drastic change in the security measures in our country. Both nationally and internationally airports have witnessed a dramatic scaling up of security measures. Elaborate screening measures including the installation of Explosion Detection Systems (EDS), Explosion Trace Detection systems (ETD), Sniffer dogs and manual searching are in place to prevent another disaster like 9/11. [Garrick, 2005]. Other developments including passenger profiling and 'Group Listing' and the use of advanced computer systems such as the CAPPS (computer assisted passenger pre-screening systems) have drawn severe criticism including filing of lawsuits alleging discrimination. [EFF] Even behavioral observations are in place currently in our national airports where passengers are analyzed for their facial expressions and body language to discern for potentially dangerous people. While federalization of airport screening has consolidated our aviation security it has also added to privacy concerns and other discomforts of the passengers and affected the business for airliners. At 12.5 billion seat miles the total capacity of our carriers today stands almost the same as Sep 2001 when it was 12.1 billion miles clearly indicating the gloom in the industry. [the Associated Press, 2009] a brief discussion of the new measures that are in place post 9/11 and the repercussions both for the passengers as well as the airline industry would provide us a better insight into this topic.

Airport Security (a Sweeping Change)

The scare of in flight terror attacks have driven our aviation security to a high alert and several regulations and sweeping changes in screening methods have been witnessed since 9/11.

The U.S. department of homeland security reportedly spends more than $500 million each year for the research and development of security devices for screening and detecting explosive material at the airports. Statistics also indicate that the economic burden of implementing these security measures have increased manifolds and is roughly estimated to be $9 per passenger. [Eleni Linos, (2007)] Passenger inconvenience has resulted in a decreased demand for air travel with people preferring to drive than take a plane for travel to neighboring states. It is estimated that the airline industry incurs an annual loss of around $1.1 Billion due to the reduction in demand. [Garrick, (2005)]

Passenger Screening

The TSA (Transport security administration) has dramatically improved the security operations in our airports. From 16,200 security screeners prior to Sep 11, the number of TSA screeners increased to 56,000 by the end of 2002 with almost 55% of them in charge of passenger screening. Several surveys have indicated passengers feel safer and more comfortable with the TSA federal security screeners than the private screeners who were in place prior to 9/11. [Garrick, 2005] the recent introduction of 'Whole body scanning ' machines for instance, has increased popularity among the travelers who choose this option in lieu of the regular 'pat down' search. Also this technology works faster (15 and 30 seconds) helping to speed up the security clearance process and reduce the wait time for passengers. Kristin Lee the spokesperson of TSA says, "over 99% of passengers choose this technology over other screening options,." [Jessica Ravitz] However, privacy advocates such as EPIC and American Civil Liberties Union caution that the potential of misuse of such whole body imaging devices cannot be ignored. As Coney, an advocate with EPIC says, "What they're showing you now is a dumbed-down version of what this technology is capable of doing," she said. "Having blurry images shouldn't blur the issue.." The same issue was raised by Chris Calabrese, a lawyer with the ACLU who feels that "Screeners at LAX [Los Angeles International Airport] could make a fortune off naked virtual images of celebrities." [Jessica Ravitz]

Baggage Screening

Baggage screening has been significantly improved with more than 7200 ETD machines and 1100 EDS machines across the airports in the country. Any baggage that is positive under the electronic screening is subjected to manual checking for any explosive devices or other dangerous weapons. Studies indicate that these electronic security systems raise a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Airport Security After 9-11" Thesis in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Airport Security After 9-11.  (2009, October 19).  Retrieved November 27, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Airport Security After 9-11."  19 October 2009.  Web.  27 November 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Airport Security After 9-11."  October 19, 2009.  Accessed November 27, 2021.