Airport Security Measures

In lieu of the tragic events that took place on 9/11, airway travel has certainly felt the biggest blowback from Terrorism. The people demanded tighter and more innovative security. They wanted to feel safer when they got on a plane to go wherever (airway travel is the second most popular form of travel in the United States, second to driving a car). Airports around the nation had no choice but raise their standards to meet the peoples’ expectations, and tighten their security measures to ensure nothing like that tragedy ever occurred again. Here is how airport security works and how they keep us safe.

An airport’s first line of defense is the basics: fences, barriers, and walls. These tall structures (usually lined with barbed-wire or made with a very anti-climb policy in mind) are carefully watched, as patrols scan the perimeter on a regular basis. This is even more so the cases in sensitive areas like baggage holding, fuel depots, or areas near the terminals. This vigilance has also extended to vehicular area, where large barriers able to stop a full-sized moving truck can be deployed if they feel a threat is eminent.

Another security measure is requesting more information about the passengers. This is done via more thorough screening, where passengers determined to be high-risk (through a variety of information gathered) are continued to be screened and scrutinized, and in some cases, denied their request to fly all together. This also falls to the check-in attendants and other airport employees asking questions like, “Has your luggage been with you at all times?” These kinds of questions can help eliminate threats to both the airport and its many planes nearby.

The most commonly known security measures are the metal detector and the x-ray. While there are ways to get around this (using certain cover materials), the government has devoted a vast majority of resources to bettering their detection systems. With these new metal detectors and x-ray, TSA employees are able to better recognize and detain threats before they even get to the loading area. While it still isn’t perfect, the margin of error is smaller than ever before.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that airports are trying their best to ensure their passengers’ safety. And while no system is perfect, every little bit helps. As technology improves, so too will our defenses against terroristic threats.