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The Government has deflected from protecting its citizens to invading their privacy therefore depriving us from our right to freedom.
The Privacy that United States lost
United States have tightened security in airport following alleged attempts of bombing. For instance, as Matthew Bandyk states in his article "what airport Security Costs You" after attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas made Americans think even more about airport security than usual. Many leaders of United States argued that, the incident occurred due to lack of strict security. Matthew continues to explain that, following the incident, the federal government has planned to spend about $ 1 billion on new full-body scanners and other security technology such as bomb detectors.
Since then, Americans who are travelling queue, for thorough inspection, without taking any chances. Despite these measures being in place, many Americans think enough has not been done to enhance security. However, those who are concerned with the costs and benefits of security are not content the present system is perfect. Matthew says, Robert Poole who is director of transportation policy at think tank the reason foundation, and a member of the government Accountability office's National studies advisory panel, was shocked to find that the US had spent $ 40 billion on screening passengers since September 11 and was convinced that was the wisest use of security resources.
Tiebert (2009) say, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the airline industry employed sweeping security measures in airport (p. 30). Every state in America has enforced security measures, though they vary from one state to another. Tiebert (2009) continues to stipulate the following measures, which can be used to expedite the check-in process and avoid airport stress;
Ø Arriving in Time - To be on the safer side, it is important to arrive for checking process one hour in advance to at least two hours before the scheduled flight time. It is also important to note that, times differ from one airport to another.
Ø Don't count on curbside check-in - various airlines and airports have stopped curbside check-in overall, whereas others give it on a limited basis.
Ø Carrying the required documents - The identification documents like the up-to-date, government issued photo ID are required. It is shown in various checkpoints for identification reasons. In case of e-ticket, one is needed to have printed confirmation of purchase, and perhaps even the credit card purchased the ticket. Again, this differs from one airline to another, thus it is important to confirm by a phone call and know the correct documentation.
Ø Know what allowed and what is prohibited - United States, of late has restricted travelers to carry only one bag, plus one personal bag (e.g a pursue or a briefcase). The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has also issued a list of prohibited carry-on items. To ensure everybody is informed on what to carry or not, TSA has listed all prohibited items at its website. It is also advisable to inquire in advance to avoid problems.
Ø Prepare to be searched - It is import to be prepared psychologically to be searched. Electronic items should be presented for further screening. Also it is important to note that, items like personal jewelry, loose change, and any other metallic items are placed on your person before getting to security check up.
Ø It's no joke - It is import for passenger to cooperate, and especially when asked security related question by anyone (p. 30).
Much has been done, in an effort of empowering the United States government to deal with security issues in the airport. According to O'Hanlon (2003), most of the required steps to advance airport security were incorporated into aviation Security Act, which establishes the Transport Security Administration in the Department of Transport and contains measures to improve airport security, the screening of luggage and passengers, security onboard airplanes (p. 64). This aimed at ensuring airport screeners are federal employees, and they do also pass a background check and annual expertise review. "The congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects the costs of screeners' salaries, training, background checks, and armed security at checkpoint to total about $4.5 billion over the period 2002-05 " (O'Hanlon, 2003, p. 64).
Also in order to improve security, government must purchase equipment to improve screening of the luggage. It is also a requirement for every luggage to be screened at the airport. As O'Hanlon (2003) explains, "The aviation security Act also adds federal law enforcement personnel to airport, air traffic facilities, and parked aircraft" (p. 64). Also to be implemented in this effort of enhancing security is marshal program. This is a requirement by aviation law, on every flight that long-distance nonstop flights should be a priority for the air marshal program (O'Hanlon, 2003, p. 64).
Aviation Security Act also tightens rules and regulations governing airline security. According to O'Hanlon (2003), "It directs the FAA to issue regulations requiring airlines to strengthen and secure cockpit doors and prohibit any member of the flight crew not assigned to the flight deck from having a key to the door " (p. 64). It is a responsibility of airlines to put precautions programs in place and give electronic passenger manifest, which involves identification information, for all international flight entering the United States.
These measures of purchasing new and more powerful screening machines, is very crucial to enhancing security in the airport. However, there are some demerits of the tight security measures. For instance, using full-body scanner increase wait times compared to the metal detectors. Getting passenger through a full-body scanner consumes a lot of time compared to that of using metal detectors.
According to Robert Longley (2010) say in holiday airport security procedures and suggestions for passengers, especially during peak travel periods, such as Christmas season, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) tells air passengers to be aware of the latest airport security checkpoint procedures and policies, and to take advantages of various tips designed to speed their clearance through security.
Robert Longley (2010), continues to argue that, presently the security environment fundamentally remains as it was in 2004. It was during this period when TSA announced security was advancing in using explosive trace detectors, expanding the application of manual pat-down searches, and sending more passengers for further screening based on visual observations by screeners, even if an alarm remains on. Normally, passengers have a right to a confidential screening.
TSA checkpoint procedures states that all passengers to remove their coats for thorough checking before proceeding through the metal detectors. According to Graham (2008), the responsibility for the provision and financing of airport security varies considerably from one country to another (p. 142). The provision of these services may be outsourced to an external company or be from within, carried out by airport's employees.
The level of security measures has improved recently, around the globe, however this may not be sufficient to provide the safety of all flight and passenger. These issues of security are crucial in determining the success of business. According to Graham (2008) "The relationship between the airport operator and the airline is fundamental to the success of the airport business" (p. 139).
Technology is essential tool as far as airport security is concerned. When the airport security is enhanced, the entire security process is improved, not only for prevention, but also to offer a greater array of observation and discovery. For instance, in security matters advancement is witnessed in introduction of full body scanners for conducting searches. Nevertheless, technology is only one aspect of aspect of security and cannot the only source of protection. In order to attain an ultimate objective of protection/security of passengers, airport staff and the airport assets, there must be a multi-tiered system in place.
There are steps being set in the right direction pertaining improving standards of airport security personnel. It is believed that by doing so, the airport security will have been "professionalized." The preservation of human right can be kept, and it is important note that, approaches of an effective security system is made to secure lives and trace terrorist.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) handles all forms of transportation, whereas Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) deals with all kinds of operations of the United States operations. FAA agents are situated at all big airport to be standby for any threats which may arise. Also present is the complete police force, watching all facets of the facility. Thorough investigations are conducted for any one is admitted in the airport. All employees have identification cards with their name, photo, position, and access rights clearly indicated.
In conclusion, it is true that the security measures put in place after September 11, terrorist attacks, are tight and have boosted the security level in the airports. The significance of airport security has become disastrously apparent. Therefore, it is important to take the security issue very crucial without compromising any prevention measures.