Each airport has their security measures in place to meet current regulations and guidelines. While they all must meet the same standard of security there are inherent limitations due to facility, personnel, or infrastructure. This does not mean that certain airports are unsecure, just maybe less secure than others. Like a car must meet highway safety standards the size of the vehicle, personnel in the vehicle, and layout of the safety features, can make one car safer than another but still meet the minimum standards. I do a lot of traveling (maybe 250 days a year from “home”) and have since 2000. I have been to large international airports with tons of identifiable safety infrastructure in place, and many small private airfields with only a single visible security officer at a desk. I work in a profession that promotes concealment and sometimes you forget which clothes have what in them and the next thing you know, you are traveling in them. I have had the large airports who see tons of passengers every day and tons of tech miss ceramic blades because the scanner was more focused on a bobby pin or hair beret in the pocket closest to it. In the same instance at a small airfield I have had that sole security guard that had only seen 5 passengers that day wand and pat us down like prom dates, finding everything we forgot we even had.
checkpoints are some of the most controlled and secure points in airports now. Where I often see vulnerability is at the exit of terminals were there is one agent sitting at a podium as debarked passengers walk by in herds. I have my self-forgot items on planes only to get sympathy from that agent to allow me to walk right back the way I came. The other point would be in terminals where doors lead to tarmac. Many times, I have seen agents not letting the door close behind them fully before walking away leaving it open for the duration that the door hinge closes it. While these simple observances may expose security risks there are other factors like mentioned above that would have to line up. Think electronic surveillance all over the airport as well as that agent or employee or even passenger in the terminal that sees some one dash for a slowly closing door leading to tarmac.
Before the tragic events of 9/11 there was less screening for passengers and their luggage. There were less extensive criminal background checks of TSA employees and far less robust airport police presence (Trainer, 2017). Currently airport and aviation security are higher than ever across the nation. This is largely due to the fear of corona virus’ enforced quarantine measures, blacklists of travelers from certain nations, and the slower methodic, and spaced out distance between travelers. While this may be inconvenient to us, it negatively impacted foreign terrorist fighters highlighting their dedication, and resourcefulness (Mines, 2020). The heightened security and the pace at which it is now conducted also has brought in record numbers of firearms and weapons found in checked baggage at a rate of 2.68 times greater for the same period (March 22-April22) last year (TSA news 2020).
The security of the aviation industry is relative to the times we live in and the level of threats we face. Back in the day smoking on the plane was the biggest risk, and security was appropriately conducted. After decades of hijackings and attacks, our security has evolved to meet it with escalation of force. No one likes inconvenience but if it’s that or our security I’ll take a little inconvenience.
Mines, A. How the Coronavirus Is Affecting American Jihadist Travelers. (2020, September 06). Retrieved September 08, 2020, from https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/airpor…
TSA in Review Feb 24 – April 22. (2020, April 27). Retrieved September 08, 2020, from https://www.tsa.gov/blog/2020/04/27/tsa-review-feb…
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