Term Paper: Aviation Business Ethics and Sept

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[. . .] Additional funds will be provided for federal air marshals. And a new team of federal security managers, supervisors, law enforcement officers and screeners will ensure all passengers and carry on bags are inspected thoroughly. And effectively."

This means that by mid-November 2002, more than 55,000 TSA screeners will be in place at 429 commercial airports in the U.S. Each TSA screener hired will be a meticulously trained U.S. citizen with a high school education and will speak fluent English. By January 1, 2003 all checked luggage will be screened by an Explosives Detection System machine.

The number one requirement of the TSA screeners will be to make sure that aviation security is enforced before passenger board planes.

September 11 Security Fee

As a direct result of the terrorist attacks, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) implemented a September 11 Security Fee, which applies to all airline tickets sold on or after February 1, 2002, and is $2.50 per flight boarded, with a $5 maximum for one-way travel and $10 for a round trip. (DOT)

The charges apply to domestic and overseas flights originating at U.S. airports. The fee is federally mandated and impacts all airfare.

This fee will help pay for the federal government's costs of providing aviation security services. The funds raised through this September 11 Security Fee will be used for new aviation security measures to help achieve aviation security.

According to the DOT budget office, about $900 million would be raised from this fee in the fiscal year 2002. The funds will go towards passenger and baggage screeners, security managers and law enforcement personnel at airports, as well as other aviation security efforts, such as the purchase of explosive detection systems.

According to the White House, the U.S. government has steadily increased the number of Federal Air Marshals since Sept. 11.

In addition, President Bush has established a federal grant fund to strengthen aircraft security, including a fund of $500 million will be established to finance aircraft modifications that delay or deny access to the cockpit (White House, 2001). Funding will be used for a number of projects, including developing and implementing devices that:

Restrict opening of the cockpit door during flight;

Fortify cockpit doors to deny access from the cabin to the pilots in the cockpit;

Alert the cockpit crew to activity in the cabin; and Ensure continuous operation of the aircraft transponder in the event the crew faces an emergency.

Current Security Flaws

While the federal government's Aviation Security and Transportation Security Act of 2001, includes many strong measures to boost the security of air travelers, including a requirement to screen all checked luggage, aviation studies reveal that at the beginning of 2002, still only 10% of luggage was actually required to be screened for explosives. In addition, the act does not call for airlines to match all checked bags to passengers on board domestic flights.

Therefore, the pressure is on airlines and airports to pick up some of the government's slack regarding aviation security. The airlines have expressed concerns over the cost of bag-matching and further screening, on the grounds that it would cause too many delays.

Jet Blue Takes Security Initiative

Still several airlines, including Jet Blue Airways and Alaska Airline, have already implemented additional security procedures, as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (Wald, Matthew, 2002). Jet Blue's security enhancements include a bag-matching policy and improved cockpit doors.

Jet Blue has also installed cameras in several of its planes and expects to install them on all planes by next year (Jet Blue). Two cameras are visible, one is outside the cockpit door and a third is at the rear galley. Two additional cameras are hidden.

Jet Blue spent more per door than any other commercial carrier, considerably more than the steel bars that many carriers went with, but Jet Blue's chief pilot says that their style door will stop anything, even a bullet.

Enhanced Security Policies

Prior to Sept. 11, cockpit doors consisted of a paper-thin barrier that was no more than a symbol of security (Sweet, 2002). However, since the terrorist attacks, the federal government has required a major change to keep terrorists away from the flight deck.

The FAA ordered a mandate to strengthen cockpit doors. As a result, all air carriers have installed new and improved cockpit doors.

Thousands of commercial airplanes have installed cockpit doors that feature a variety of designs, ranging from steel bars locked across a traditional door to a fully bulletproof design (Evans, 2002).

The FAA minimum requirement calls for all long-term solutions to be able to withstand a round of shots fired from an AK-47, as well as fragments from an exploding device such as a hand grenade.

In an ethical effort to improve aviation security, many airlines are exceeding FAA requirements to improve flight deck security and reassure travelers that flying is now one of the safest ways to travel.

While each airline is taking a different approach to the problem, most have installed cockpit doors that resemble door bars, and are designed to keep terrorists from entering the cockpit and possibly seizing control of the aircraft.

Ethical Business Standards

Airports must now encourage passengers to allow extra time when traveling, as heightened security measures have increased the time needed to properly screen travelers. Most airports are now recommending two hours prior to a domestic flight and three hours for international departures.

When checking in passengers and at the boarding gate, airlines must insist on seeing a government-issued ID. At the screening point, airport staff must ensure that only ticketed passengers can get past this area. In addition, carry-on luggage must be limited and monitored. All electronic items, including cell phones and laptop computers, must be monitored and screened, in addition to any metal items.

When screening passengers, airport security is required to confiscate the following items: knives; cutting and puncturing instruments; corkscrews; athletic equipment that could be used as a weapon; fireworks or explosives; flammable liquids or solids; matches or lighters; household cleaners; pressure containers; and all weapons and firearms.

All articles loaded on an aircraft, which includes passengers, baggage, catering, mail, and cargo, must be electronically screened. Airports should incorporate full body, highly sophisticated electronic scanning machines.

While not mandatory, airlines should incorporate a policy that requires bag match on all domestic flights, as well as international flights. A variety of critical unsecured situations currently exist in the aviation industry, including procedures regarding bags that are left on board for passengers who miss connecting flights or those do who not remain on their initial flight.

In addition, the Department of Transportation should loosen up tracking and reporting criteria for "on time performance" to make sure that the focus remains on security. As airlines compete to win back customers, security is taking a back seat to "on time" performance. If the DOT tracking of these performance measures is loosened, this will enhance security by enabling airlines to focus solely on security issues.

Immediately following Sept. 11, airlines required domestic crews to conduct security briefings prior to boarding passengers. However, airlines are again overriding this valuable layer of the security net to focus on "on-time" performance.

The TSA is currently only required to review its federal screener program once a year. The aviation industry should take the initiative to constantly review screeners themselves, to prevent screeners from being intimidated, bribed, or not performing well. In addition, increased use of the Federal Air Marshal program should be implemented.

As of now, there is no accurate verification of employment for airline staff. Counterfeit documents and badges are a threat to aviation security. Airlines should invest in a Smart Card system, which will enable them to better track their employees.

Additional ethical business standards for airlines include:

Installation of aircraft cabin video cameras to provide secure access to the cockpit, as hardened doors, without cabin camera surveillance, will only be marginally effective in today's threatened aircraft environment.

Installation of discrete flight attendant cabin to cockpit communication.

Self-defense training for all crewmembers.

Check lavatories, baggage compartments and all cavities for unauthorized people or objects prior to every departure

Make sure a flight crewmember is present at all times when the aircraft is being serviced at locations away from company aviation facility or at home

Use the aircraft's security system (locks and alarms) whenever it is unattended away.

The Next Step

Many airlines and airports have simply addressed the symptoms of security problems rather addressing than the underlying problems (Kidd, 2002). In order to develop and implement higher ethical standards as far as aviation security is concerned, the entire aviation industry must take security to the next level.

This means arming all security and flight personnel with information and deploy systems that identify, authenticate and assess passengers and employees, as well as screen and track bags, cargo and other assets (Dullum, 2002). These systems can be implemented and will compliment federal guidelines, as well as give greater visibility to… [END OF PREVIEW]

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