Airport Security Article Summary

Airport Security


In the early 60’s airport security wasn’t even an issue.  Nothing was checked to go on to the plane.  Back then people felt secure and safe.  But as time went on, people started to threaten others on board.  Sometimes even holding passengers and even the flight crew hostage.  According to a CNN TV Show “Airline Security Special Report” (Nov 2001).  In 1983, a plane was hijacked.  Except in this high jacking, the highjacker got violent.  After this incident happened, all carryon baggage was to be scanned and checked.  This made the flyers feel a lot safer, and for a while stopped the high jacking.  As time went on though, the highjackings got more sophisticated and more violent.  Before 9-11-01 people felt safe to fly, but then we found out how easy it was for the highjackers to get the weapons on the plane.  This is why I believe that airport security needs to get better.


The first thing, in my opinion, that needs to be changed, is checking the main luggage that goes under the plane.  Yes, the carryon luggage gets looked at the good, but according to Gerald Martineau (2001, Nov.5)  “Don’t Settle For C+ onSecurity” P.34-35 Newsweek,  95% of the time, the main luggage going under the plane isn’t checked.  That means 5% of all the luggage is checked.  A person could easily put a bomb on their main luggage, and have it go off in the air. You would think this would have changed by now, but due to the cost of the machine that checks bags, and does to its bulky size, only 50 out of the 450 nationwide airports have the machine.

The machine costs over 1.5 million dollars.  With what’s been happening with the airlines lately, the airports can’t afford the machine.  Some of the airports that have the machine don’t even run it some of the time.  Luggage has got to start getting checked better, or else we will regret in the future waiting so long for the technology.  In 1988, flight 103 going from London to America, blew up over Scotland.  A bomb in the main luggage cargo hold blew up.  This could have been prevented if the airport had the machine to check for bombs. 1.5 million dollars might seem like a lot of money for the machine that can check bags, but in my opinion, a persons life is priceless.

Another thing that has got to change in airports is the people hired.  You would think that all airports would do a background check on all of the employees it hires.  Especially when the people working in airports have access to anywhere in the airport at almost anytime.  This means they can get by security, and into areas where they can easily slip a bomb or weapon on to the plane.  In some cases, airports have hired criminals with warrants out for their arrest, and even illegal aliens.  I don’t feel safe knowing that I can be looking right out the window, and the guy working on the wheels of the plane could be an illegal alien.  All of the airports are required to do a background check of the people they are hiring, but because of lazy people, this is not done.  The airports need to make sure they check every-ones background before they hire them.  This is such an easy task for them to do, and because they are lazy, they don’t do it.

Airport security is another big thing that has got to chance.  According to Dave Allport (2001, November) “Airline Security Crisis”  Airliner World, The Global Airline Scene P.6-11,  a test was performed to see how easy it was for somebody to sneak past secured areas, and the numbers are frightening.  An averaged dressed man simply slipped by security by walking behind other airport employees.  He did this over 26 times before he was even caught.  Sometimes he would find a person name tag with a photo idea on it, steal it, and where that around the airport.  The picture doesn’t even look like him, and at times he would even where a females name tag.  At one point a man came up to him, looked at his name tag and picture, called him by that person’s name, and told him to have a nice day.  The man on the name tag looked nothing like him.  I know that if I were to try and get into secured areas in are Sioux Falls Airport, that it would not be hard.

I’ve gone their late at night to drop off my Dad for a late flight, and I hardly saw the person that worked there.  I’m sure that in bigger airports have tighter security than are small Sioux Falls airport.  But that doesn’t mean that a plane from are airport cant fly somewhere and do the same thing that happened on 9-11-01.  They have got to do something about airport security around the airports.

The next thing we have to consider about airport security is other countries airports.  How secure are they?  Yes, we might be making the American’s standards a lot stricter, but this doesn’t mean other countries are going to do the same.  A big enough airplane can almost fly anywhere in the world it wants to.  That’s if you think about it, can be used as a missile.  A missile that can cover almost any distance.  If you think about it, it’s a perfect plan.

Another thing you have to consider about airport security is the plane itself.  What I mean by this is, if highjackers do make it on the plane, what can be done on the plane to protect the people on board.  According to “Airport Security Breeches” (Nov.4) Author Unknown, some suggest that the pilots have a gun on them.  I don’t know if I like the idea of having a gun on board.  I personally think they could have a stun gun, instead of a real gun.  According to Richard L. Collins “Flying Safety” Flying (Nov 2001) P.24, “putting a gun on board the airplane will probably make things worse.  All the highjack has to do is find a way, on the plane, to get the gun.  People nowadays can do almost anything.”


I think all the pilots have to do is have a secured, locked door that is bulletproof, to block the cabin.  This should not be allowed to be opened at any time during the flight.  Although people on board may be attacked and killed, the plane can is used as a bomb.  In the end, that would be more deadly.  This was all showed to us on 9-11-01.

Airport security has got to get better in a number of areas.  Whether its in the airport or on the airplane itself.  There are a number of areas that can use some work on improvement.  Unfortunately, this keeps on getting reminded to us, but for the sake of peoples lives in the future, it has got to improve. Even if it takes a long time, and costs a lot of money, just one life is worth more then all that could amount up to.  This is why airport security has got to get better.



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