Metal Scanners, Conveyor X-ray Machines & Human Security Personnel
Glaring Holes In Traditional Airport Security
Benefit from Technology Expenditures
New Types of Airport Security Devices & Systems
The past decade has seen an increased number of terrorists acts where airline security and travel are concerned. Disasters like the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, in 1989, the explosion of TWA Flight 800, in 1996, and the increased threat of terrorism during the Gulf War spurred concerted efforts towards increasing airport security. If we wish to look at the origins of aviation security, we can follow its footsteps back to Public Law 93-366, the Air Transportation Security Act of 1974, and the Anti-Hijacking Act of 1974 (Protection, 1999). However, before the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, airport security consisted mainly of insuring that weapons were not taken abroad aircraft. From that time on, it became necessary to create surveillance systems to detect explosive devices that may be placed on aircraft by terrorists. To this affect, technology has been increasingly used to help create the most sophisticated security systems possible. Nonetheless, there are many obstacles in the way of achieving these systems. Two of the most significant ones are cost and the human error factor as a link in the overall security equation. This analysis will discuss old aviation security methods and demonstrate their vulnerability. New technology-oriented security systems will then be discussed, including cost factors. A conclusion will address some of the challenges facing those who wish to improve airport security through technology.
As previously stated, old airport security features consisted mainly of methods to insure weapons were not carried aboard aircraft. Metal scanning detectors for passengers, conveyor belt x-ray scanning of luggage, and human security personnel about summed up aviation security before it became recognized...