New Day Dawns for Air Security. (Nation: Airline Safety)

Article excerpt

At this time last year, many airport screeners were unable to speak or read English, pilots were unarmed and only random pieces of luggage were screened for explosives. Then on Sept. 11, commercial airliners were used as missiles to kill 2,830 in attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

As a result, aircraft security was increased significantly after the attacks when President George W. Bush approved the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA), establishing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to oversee airport- and aircraft-security issues formerly under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Although TSA spokeswoman Deidre O'Sullivan would not comment on defensive measures that may have been implemented to protect aircraft from attack by ground-to-air missiles, she did explain in some detail the new developments in aircraft safety. These include:

* By November, some 30,000 federal passenger screeners will replace private airport screeners. (Contrary to the previous policy, a federal screener must be a U. …