Protecting Airline Passengers in the Age of Terrorism

Protecting Airline Passengers in the Age of Terrorism

Protecting Airline Passengers in the Age of Terrorism

Protecting Airline Passengers in the Age of Terrorism


With experts ranging from academics to security personnel to government transportation officials, this book brims with need-to-know information and how-to instruction. That makes it indispensable for anyone connected in any way with the airline industry.


Paul Seidenstat

Since September 11, 2001, when several hijacked airplanes were crashed into large buildings in the United States, the nation’s security leadership has stressed the importance of transportation security, with special emphasis on airport security. Airport security had been of great concern in the United States for several decades, prompted by sporadic hijackings and bomb explosions. Although it had been a joint public-private undertaking, emphasis shifted to public operations after the 9/11 attacks, based on the perceived weaknesses of the security system.

Protecting airline passengers is a challenging problem. At any one time, there are about 5,000 commercial airliners in the sky. Every day, there are 28,000 flights, and monthly, 850,000. Hundreds of millions of passengers will pass through airline security in 2009.

Those passengers will flow into the security system at 561 airports around the country. Many of those airports—about 400 of them—are large organizations, employing thousands of skilled and unskilled workers who pass, unscreened, in and out of employee entrances as they provide routine and ongoing access to hundreds of catering and service vehicles, through miles of restricted airport perimeters.

The security strategy we use to protect this very large system was designed 40 years ago to deter unsophisticated hijackers. the major threat we face today is from well-trained terrorists backed by careful preparation and wellfinanced groups.

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