Why Is The Main Security Program At Airports Still Ineffective  Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Transportation Type: Essay Paper: #6102445 Related Topics: Aviation Security, Airport Security, Aviation, Homeland Security
Excerpt from Essay :

Aviation Security Since 911

How has aviation security improved since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001? What do reliable sources in the literature say with reference to safety and security in 2015? And how effective is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at keeping air travelers safe? This paper covers those issues and in particular provides a number of good sources commenting on the quality (or lack of quality) displayed by the TSA employees.

Generalizations about aviation security in the Post-911 era

For most people who travel by air, the screening at the airports in 2015 is certainly more thorough than it was prior to 911, but there are continuing problems with TSA, as will be documented in this paper. But at the beginning of this paper it is worth reviewing the "Mission" of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in terms of what the U.S. Government wants the public to know: "Safety is our passion"; "Excellence is our promise"; "Integrity is our touchstone"; "People are our strength"; and "Innovation is our signature" (www.faa.gov). Has the FAA lived up to its Mission? That seems open to question. While it is true that although there have been terrorist ("lone wolf") acts on the ground; no terrorist acts have taken place on board U.S. commercial aircraft since 911. Is this because of the competency of the TSA? Or are there other reasons to explain why flying is safer since 911?

Since 911, what is the TSA doing to protect passengers in a professional way?

"More than a decade after 911, it is a national embarrassment that our airport security system remains so hopelessly bureaucratic and disconnected from the people whom it is meant to protect & #8230; to eliminate risk from flying, we have made air travel an unending nightmare for U.S. passengers…" (Kip Hawley, former...


Hawley also is quoted in the WSJ saying that the TSA's assigned job is to "manage risk" but "not to enforce regulations"; and he made that statement apparently because he believes that "regulations are always playing catch-up because terrorists design their plots around the loopholes" (www.techdirt.com).

Another critic is Jeff Price, author of the book Practical Aviation Security and founder of a consultancy called "Leading Edge Strategies." Price offers this assessment of TSA: "For airport security pre-911, the technology was 1970s. But post-911, it is the 1990s, but it is not yet in the 21st century" (www.flightglobal.com).

Protecting passengers may have become a second priority for the TSA, based on personal testimony from former employees. Protecting its image may be out on front of passengers, one can conclude after reading the available literature. For example, P. Jeffrey Black, a former U.S. Federal Air Marshal, was a whistleblower and asserted that some TSA officials were "above the law" (Jacobsen, 2008). The Homeland Security's Special Agent in charge of investigating Black (after he became a whistleblower), Charles Maurer, reportedly attempted to force a UPS store manager to allow him to see the private files of Black. Maurer told the UPS manager, "I don't need a subpoena, I have this badge. Now, get me the files" (Jacobsen, p. 1).

Another example of the TSA's heavy-handedness can be viewed through the experience of 62-year-old Annie McKeehan, who worked at four different east coast airports and witnessed "…security lapses, abuse of power and fiscal waste" (Jacobson, p. 1). McKeehan wrote a fictionalized book (detailing abuses and incompetence by TSA) and was a month from it being published when she was called in to face a TSA supervisor. She had written an email to a friend saying, "I have a plan," meaning a plan for her personal future.

When called in, her supervisor had printed out "I have a plan" on a sheet of paper and interrogated her as to what her plan was. "They had been monitoring my personal emails, the ones I'd sent from my home computer using a personal email account" (Jacobson, p. 1).

How many TSA employees have quit the agency?

Annie Jacobson writes that several agencies (including the U.S. House Judiciary Committee) had tried and failed to find out what the…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Blackburn, M. (2012). The TSA Is Coming To A Highway Near You. Forbes. Retrieved August 20, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com.

Federal Aviation Administration. (2014). Mission. Retrieved August 21, 2015, from http://www.faa.gov.

Jacobson, A. (2009). Why have 67,000 TSA Employees Left Their Jobs? PJ Media.

August 20, 2015, from http://pjmedia.com.
Price, J. (2011). Airport Security. Retrieved August 20, 2015, from http://www.flightglobal.com.
21, 2015, from https://www.techdirt.com.

Cite this Document:

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