TSA Transportation Security Agency Specifically Airport Security Term Paper

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Aviation Security after 911

In recent times, airport and aviation security have become an important aspect of aviation industry. Significant changes in airport and aviation security have been witnessed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Notable changes include new airport security procedures, implementation of advanced screening and scanning technologies. New airport security measures include arrival of passengers two hours before their flight if traveling in domestic flight and random screening of luggage. Such measures had been introduced in order to promote aviation security in order to prevent terrorist activities. Advanced screening and security were needed to combat the threat of terrorism and therefore, to avert such attacks, transportation security agency was formed during the Bush administration. The goal of aviation security is to provide maximum security and safety to air passengers and employees, to capture terrorists and to ensure that 9/11 attacks do not occur again. The goal of this paper is to analyze the topic of aviation security after 9/11 in the lights of broad and diverse academic resources.

Formation of Transportation Security Agency

After 9/11, Transportation Security Agency had been created in order to improve aviation and airport security in order to deal with terrorist attacks. TSA works collaboratively with local and regional agencies in order to promote security in the transportation sector including railroads, buses, subways, ports and highways (DiLascio 123). However, it primarily focuses on airport security to avert terrorist attacks. Duties of TSA in terms of aviation security revolve around screening baggage and passengers at all American airports. TSA also collaborates with law enforcement agencies to avert the risk of baggage theft. In 2007, an operation was carried out by TSA in which weapons were stolen by airport employees (DiLascio 124).

New Technologies and Privacy Issues

In the year 2010, WBI or whole body imaging systems had been introduced at American airports by TSA in order to promote airport security and to reduce the risk of terrorism. Such systems were used previously as part of experimental studies in order to determine their effectiveness. WBI systems are now the main screening systems at airports and utilize the usage of advance technology, which can effectively catch the smallest details. Currently, two AIT systems have been employed by TSA, which are: Rapiscan Secure 1000 and Provision System (DiLascio 125). The former operates on X-rah backscatter technology and the latter employs wave imaging technology. Critics assert that this technology invades privacy and refer it as "virtual strip search" (Seidenstat 276). For this purpose, TSA also provides the option of pat-down search in order to deal with privacy concern. It should be noted that this technology can only identify conceal objects but cannot detect or reveal explosives. Upon detection of concealed object, further inspection is made. Procedures include visual inspection, pat-down procedures and conducting tests to determine whether the individual is carrying an explosive or not by taking the sample from his or her clothing or skin.

From surveys, it has been suggested that about 70 to 80% of American citizens approve the usage of AIT systems in order to promote aviation and airport security. However, some groups have asserted that these systems invade privacy (DiLascio 134). One such group is the American Civil Liberties Union, which assert that this system of body screening invades privacy and gives comprehensive details of body. Furthermore, complete body imaging of children is of great concern as it is difficult to determine whether it breaks laws regarding child pornography (Seidenstat 277). Upon detecting of an unidentified object, the passenger is also subjected to pat-down procedures. Frequently, sexual harassment charges have been made by female passengers asserting that such procedures allow and promote inappropriate touching. .

New Policies and Framework

The issue of airport and aviation security has significant attention since the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, which completely destroyed the World Trade Center and killed hundreds of innocent people. The tragic event raised security concern and changed the face of aviation security in the twenty first century (Nicholson 14). These terrorist attacks called for greater aviation security and thus, led to the formation of Transportation Security Agency in 2001. Drastic changes were witnessed in airport security measures and tools such as knives, box cutters and screwdrivers were banned. In 2002, increased security measures concentrated on checking baggage for explosives (Nicholson 14). In 2004, domestic and international passengers needed to remove their jackets for screening. Selected passengers would also be subjected to pat-down procedures (Nicholson 14). In some cases, passengers were…[continue]

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