Pilots and Passengers Fly Again, Gingerly ; Congress Considers a Bailout of Struggling Industry, as New Security Measures Begin

By Alexandra Marks writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 18, 2001 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Pilots and Passengers Fly Again, Gingerly ; Congress Considers a Bailout of Struggling Industry, as New Security Measures Begin


Alexandra Marks writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


America's airlines are again taking to the skies - cautiously.

But last Tuesday's terror has permanently altered flight conditions. And the most pressing question in the new climate remains: Is it safe now to fly?

The answer affects everything from family vacations to business operations to airlines' very financial survival.

"You have to find a way to make it safe," says Glen Phillips, a retired TWA pilot who was himself hijacked in the early 1970s. "We rarely have equipment failures now. And the FAA continuously works to eliminate mistakes, so it is safe ... except ... for the terrorists."

And keeping them in check right now, he says, "seems like an insurmountable task."

Before reopening airports after an unprecedented nationwide shutdown, the FAA demanded complete evaluations of each level of security.

Over the weekend, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta set up a task force that by Oct. 1 will report back on ways to tighten up further the nation's aviation security systems. In the meantime, the airlines are calling on the federal government to take over all security operations at the nation's airports.

While some pilots and aviation experts remain skeptical about levels of security, the airlines are confident the skies are safe with the changes made so far.

"It is safe to fly, or our planes would not be back in the air," says Michael Wascom of the Air Transport Association, the industry's main trade association.

The increased security is evident at the nation's airports, which are all open, with the exception of Washington's Reagan National.

Police armed with pistols and semiautomatic rifles now roam the terminals. Curbside check-in has been eliminated. And there are other, less visible changes.

Armed federal marshals in plainclothes will now be passengers on some flights, and their numbers are expected to increase dramatically.

Airport screeners will receive extra training and more scrutiny. Screening companies that fail the FAA tests will lose certification.

"I would hope this means we're finally changing the focus from passenger convenience to passenger safety," says one commercial airline pilot.

Flights are still limited, lines are long, and delays and cancellations are common. Yet most passengers are patient and grateful for the extra security.

Tom and Anne Featherstone spent 2-1/2 hours in line at LaGuardia just to check in at American Airlines.

"I'm not bothered by it at all," Mr. Featherstone said. "It's more secure than ever, although it doesn't mean that anything is absolutely safe."

But there are jittery passengers, like Beth Kellogg from Wappinger Falls, N.Y., who was stunned that security wasn't tighter when she departed from South Carolina on a flight to LaGuardia.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Pilots and Passengers Fly Again, Gingerly ; Congress Considers a Bailout of Struggling Industry, as New Security Measures Begin
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?