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Airline Safety – Essay

Name: Katelyn Meyers Assignment #4 – Airline Safety Since 9/11, airline security has been a major focus of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the US Government. Based on what you’ve read and learned in Chapter 5, discuss the following topics: * Part 1 – “Is it safe to fly? (You must show statistics and data to support your answer. Consider comparing it to other forms of transportation) * Part 2 – What security measures have been implemented since 9/11 and in your opinion, are the “extreme” security checks at our airports necessary? Discuss the safety precautions taken and find research and statistics to prove your point.

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Part 1 – Is it safe to fly? Yes, it is safe to fly. A US National Safety Council study showed flying to be 22 times safer than travelling by car. More than 3 million people fly every day. Chart below shows the number of fatalities in other transportation methods to travel. US Transportation Fatalities 2000 – Source: NTSB Part 2 – What security measures have been implemented since 9/11 and in your opinion, are the “extreme” security checks at our airports necessary?

In my option security has increased for the better good since 9/11. For example, airlines instructed passengers to arrive at airports as much as two hours before takeoff for domestic fights. After passing through security checkpoints, passengers were randomly selected for additional screening, including hand-searching of their carry-on bags, in the boarding area. The TSA has arrayed ’20 Layers of Security’ to ‘strengthen security through a layered approach’—see Figure 1. This is designed to provide defense-in-depth protection of the traveling public and of the United States transportation system.

Of these 20 layers, 14 are ‘pre-boarding security’ (i. e. , deterrence and apprehension of terrorists prior to boarding aircraft): 1. Intelligence 2. Customs and border protection 3. Joint terrorism task force 4. No-fly list and passenger pre-screening 5. Crew vetting 6. Visible Intermodal Protection Response (VIPR) Teams 7. Canines 8. Behavioral detection officers 9. Travel document checker 10. Checkpoint/transportation security officers 11. Checked baggage 12. Transportation security inspectors 13. Random employee screening 14. Bomb appraisal officers

The remaining six layers of security provide ‘in-flight security’: 15. Federal Air Marshal Service 16. Federal Flight Deck Officers 17. Trained flight crew 18. Law enforcement officers 19. Hardened cockpit door 20. Passengers Athol Yates, Executive Director of the Australian Homeland Security Research Centre says that air marshals are of ‘questionable’ security value, and that “hardening the cockpit doors and changing the protocols for hijacking has made it harder for terrorists to get weapons on board an aircraft and take control of it” (Maley 2008).