Airport security repercussions due to the September 11 attacks

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After the events of September 11, 2001, questions were raised regarding the effectiveness of security at the time, as all 19 hijackers managed to pass existing checkpoints and board the aircraft. Since the attack, security at many airports worldwide has been escalated, ostensibly to lower the probability of similar events occurring again.


Changes in airport security

Introduction of the TSA

Before September 11, 2001, airport screening was provided by private companies which were contracted with the airline or airport. In Nevember 2001, the Transportation Security Administration was introduced to handle screening at all US airports. They installed bulletproof and locked cockpit doors. Argenbright Security, a company that provided security for Newark and Washington Dulles, had problems before in May 2000, because they hired 1,300 untrained security guards, including several dozen with criminal records, for Philadelphia International Airport[1]. The company, which was on probation at the time of the attack, had its probation extended to October 2005.[2][3]

Restricted items

Box-cutter knives were apparently used in the September 11, 2001 attacks, though such knives are not usually considered weapons. The hijackers were able to carry these type of knives past airport security because at the time, they fit the qualifications to be permitted on U.S. domestic flights: any knife with a blade up to 4 inches long was permitted. Box cutters qualified as "menacing" weapons under Hazardous Materials guidelines, but were also considered "trade tools" by some airlines. The dual status of these blades caused much confusion for screeners.[citation needed] FAA rules placed into effect on September 13, 2001 prohibit any type of knife in secured airport areas and on airplanes. Beginning in 2006, passengers may not carry liquids, gels and aerosols in quantities greater than 3 ounces past security screening, and all bottles must be placed in a clear plastic bag and sent through screening separately.

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