Increased Security at our Airports -- Increased Safety in the Air.
An Article that answers the question a lot of U.S. citizens have been asking since the September 11th tragedy in New York, "What is now being done to protect 'we' the public from more terrorist attacks as we once again get brave enough to fly the friendly skies."
~ Protecting the Public ~
The terrorist attacks of September 11th have united our nation and demonstrated that the spirit of America is unbreakable. The President has urged Americans to return to their regular activities and our nation has responded to the challenge. But there can be no doubt that the tragic events have changed our lives and shaken the confidence of the public, particularly when it comes to air travel.
Even after September 11th security was lax at some of our airports with screeners routinely missing knives and other weapons. That's why Congress has taken decisive action to ensure the safety of the flying public and help people feel confident -- once again -- as they fly for business or pleasure.
A new law the (Aviation and Transportation Security Act) was recently introduced to Congress and passed. This new law will help protect airline passengers and airline employees by improving security both in the air and on the ground. Congress agreed, aviation security is national security. These new security measures will help restore public confidence in the safety of our airways and demonstrate that our nation will defend our freedom and protect our way of life.
~ Security Improvements ~
The Air Marshal Service will greatly expanded, with Air Marshals deployed on every flight that is determined to present a high security risk.
Cockpit doors have been strengthened and locks have been installed on commercial aircraft.
As of the end of Janurary, 2002, all airports have in place a system to screen all checked baggage using explosive detection systems, manual searches or bomb sniffing dogs, or a bag match system. All checked baggage will be subject to inspection by explosive detection equipment by the end of 2002.
Law wnforcement officers will be stationed at every screening checkpoint in an airport.
Security personnel must be U.S. citizens and will be subject to background checks. Stringent employment, training and performance standards will be enforced for baggage screeners.
Under certain circumstances, pilots of passenger airlines are allowed to carry guns in the cockpit and law enforcement officers from other agencies are allowed to travel with guns to assist Air Marshals.
~ Security Tips for Air Travelers ~
As a result of the new, tighter security measures being enforced by airports nationwide, the FAA has offered the following travel tips for people traveling by plane:
Be careful what you pack--things such as cutting instruments (including pocket knives of any length), corkscrews, scissors, metal nail files, personal care items that are flammable (including flammable perfume and aerosols) in qunatities over 70 ounces are not allowed onto airplanes and will be confiscated at security checkpoints.
Allow extra time for check in--travelers should allow up to two hours to check in and pass through security.
Report unattended items on the airplane or in the airport to flight attendants or security officials.