With the threat of terrorism remaining so strong in this country it is vital to find new and better ways to protect people and to keep them safe from harm as much as is humanly and technologically possible.
Scope of the Study
The scope of this particular study is very broad and far-reaching, because there are so many people who are being affected by it now and will be affected by it in the future. This was mentioned briefly earlier, as the current individual that may be suffering from the after-effects or the fear of terrorism is by far not the only one that is affected or will be affected in the future. The family and friends of that person are also affected, and the individuals of the future and their families and friends may also be affected by terrorism some day. Even though not everyone that goes through a traumatic experience like terrorism acquires problems later on they are prevalent enough, especially with aviation security and mishaps, to warrant further research and study at this point in time.
Another reason that the scope of the study is so broad is that it can be expanded to include those issues that are not aviation-related. For the actual study, the focus will remain on the aviation, and that is also where the data will come from for the analysis. However, it can be seen that aviation workers are not the only ones who can find themselves dealing with this problem or terrorism, and therefore it is important to expand one's mind to the idea that there are many other areas out there that are also in need of examination and upgrading to protect them from terrorism. Some of these will be addressed in the literature review. While these areas will not be examined in the data analysis for this study, other studies should consider looking into this issue and expanding upon what has been done here and in other studies of this nature, as terrorism remains a serious threat.
Since virtually everyone in the country has the potential to experience terrorism, the study is something that will have value for everyone - especially those that are already in the aviation field, have experienced a terrorist event, or have an interest in this issue for some other reason (such as a friend or family member that has experienced a terrorist event and is showing some signs and symptoms of problems coping with it).
Rationale for the Study
An important part of the rationale behind this study is that there have not been that many other studies done specifically like this one. Doing a study like this therefore helps to provide new and unique information, but it can also be difficult, since there is really not much of a precedent for this type of study that the researcher can follow. The potential problems that a study like this could have will be dealt with further in the methodology chapter, since they are important concerns that must be pointed out and discussed.
There are three hypotheses that must be pointed out here, so that they can be studied during the data analysis and either validated or invalidated by the conclusion of the study. They are presented here in bullet form:
Hypothesis One - the threat of terrorist activity from an aviation standpoint affects a significant percentage of those who are or have been in that industry.
Hypothesis Two - the ease with which terrorism can occur in the aviation industry is something that has not yet been accepted enough to ensure that a high percentage of individuals actually take their security jobs seriously.
Hypothesis Three - Terrorism as it relates to a pre and post 9/11 world must be further studied and better understood in order to help as many individuals as possible live safely and fly safely.
These three hypotheses will be tested through a study of the literature information that will be collected in Chapter Two and also through the data analysis that will be conducted in Chapter Four. Then, in Chapter Five, the conclusions and summary of the study can show whether these hypotheses are valid or invalid, and whether there are other hypothetical issues that were largely overlooked and should be addressed in the future. Recommendations for further research will also be made at that point, so that other studies that will be conducted in the future can look toward further ways to solve problems and address issues
Chapter Two - Review of Related Literature
In order to keep up with the rapidly changing demands to keep the country safe, new technology had to be employed. Technology deals with applied sciences, engineering, and industrial arts, and all three of these areas were put into motion by the attacks. The main interest of technology companies became innovation. Companies had to use the knowledge they already had, plus make an effort to acquire as much new knowledge as possible as rapidly as they could. In order to be able to keep the country safe, they had to know what they were protecting it from and how to make sure that the threat could be effectively noticed and stopped before any damage could be done.
Borders are highly important security points in the fight against terrorism. Keeping our borders safe means keeping terrorists out of the country. This is extremely important, for obvious reasons. On May 14 of 2002, President Bush signed a bill that would help to keep the borders much safer. This new border security bill will require that foreign visitors carry high-tech passports and visas. It will also require computer tracking of students who are visiting the country to get an education. In addition to these two things, it will greatly improve the access to the electronic databases of the U.S. consular offices in various overseas locations around the globe (Matthews & Hasson, 2002).
There is also talk of using the 'EZ-Pass' system, which would allow people who have already been checked out and approved to cross borders much faster (Sirhal, 2002). This is being considered for people who live very near the Canadian border and travel to Canada frequently. It could also be used for Canadians who come into the United States on a regular basis. There is talk of perhaps using it at airports at some point in the future, but that has not come to pass yet.
The EZ-Pass system is being considered so strongly because Canada and the United States spend a great deal of time trading with one another. The EZ-Pass would open the doors not just to people but also to trade and commerce. Right now, things are slowed down because there are so many border checks and lines are often long. The hope is that the new system will still keep people safe but also not delay them like the current system is doing.
There is also an open call into all technology companies out there to give ideas to the Bush administration about terrorism and border security. So far, there are devices on the market that could be used to scan a person's specific information such as fingerprints, facial features, etc., but they are not being used (Harris, 2001).
The Defense Department's call to technology makers tells many people that the Department is stumped for ideas about what to do with the terrorism problem that seems to loom large over the country right now. They are not sure what technology will work or where they want to go from here, and that is causing delays in implementation of technology that could be used to stop another terrorist attack before it gets started.
The best solution for the borders seems to be the EZ-Pass system combined with the scanners that read fingerprints, etc. However, so far no one in the government has implemented anything of the kind, and they do not seem to be in a hurry to do so. The biggest problem for the technology companies is going to be convincing the government that the technology they have is the best and that it will do what the government wants it to do. Cost is also a factor, but not as much as the interest in whether the new technology will actually live up to all of the promises that it has made.
The good thing is that there are not many competing technologies, only competing companies, so the odds are pretty high that the scanners and the EZ-Pass system will be used eventually. Which company gets to produce them for the government, though, remains to be seen. They cannot work for everybody, either, because some people will travel to our country so infrequently that there…