Events such as 9/11 have impacted many aspects of American life but nothing has been more impacted than air travel. Air travel involves security measures that need to be in place both at the airports and on-board. Numerous efforts have been made to close the security gaps at the airport resulting in a safer commercial aviation system, but a system that is far more intrusive and time consuming (Levine, 2005)…
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On the contrary, the security measures end up scaring the passengers. Hijacking is something that the commercial sector has been trying to prevent but the security lapses are tremendous. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a part of the Department of Homeland Security and has been extensively spending on research and new technology. To prevent hijacking the passengers are subject to rigorous screening process. Passengers have been resisting the frisking process and the passengers have expressed irritation (The New Zealand Herald, 2010). Moreover, Europe and European air officials have been resisting the US imposed useless and intrusive air travel security measures, to which the US carriers and security officials do not adhere to for their internal flights (Judd, 2010). Imposing measures such as removing shoes and taking laptop out of bags have done little to enhance the security of the passengers or the crew. Despite all the security measures in place, at the British airports suspicious packages were found on an American-bound aircraft (The Express, 2010). This signals that air freight consignments would also need to be screened which means added security measures without any positive outcome. Low-paid workers working in the cargo section have free access to the entire airport, ramps and runways without undergoing any personal inspection or their belongings being checked (Fonda, Donnelly & Thomas, 2003). Cargo on freight planes is seldom checked. At the Pearson International Airport, in the aftermath the security measures were such that the passengers felt insecure and frustrated (Gulli et al). The security personnel ran their fingers through the passengers’ hair, ran their hands over the passengers’ body, lifted up the pant leg and even slid down the socks. Even babies were woken up for inspection. Such security measures cause not just frustration but they make the people even more fearful apart from causing delays in departure. False alarm goes off from the baggage scanners. After the false alarm the passenger’s name is announced over the public address system and then the baggage is opened in his presence. These only add to the panic and woes of the passengers without any positive outcome. Canada has introduced secret-weapon air sky marshals who have been trained to detect and eliminate threat to passengers, flight crew and aircraft (Gulli, Henheffer, Mendleson, & Macdonald, 2010). The sky marshals’ role becomes important only when other security measures at the airport fail, or is missing. Multi-layered approach including traditional tools such as metal detectors and bomb sniffing dogs has been found to be ineffective in fighting terrorists. They can be very expensive and their scope of detection is limited. New security measures including 44 body scanners at a cost of $250,000 have been ineffective as terrorists can safely pass through the scanners if the explosives are stuffed in their body cavities. This cutting-edge technology cannot pick up explosives and is limited to detecting metal, plastic, rubber, wire, ceramic and liquids tucked inside pockets. Hence bombers and hijackers can still board the aircraft with explosives on them. The process of body-screening is time-consuming as it takes
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