Aviation Security Term Paper

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Criminal Justice

After the 911 terrorist attacks on the United States of America, airline security has become one of the most prominent safety issues within the country and also abroad. Indeed, specific organizations and strategies have been implemented in order to ensure the safety of aircraft for passengers and for the country as a whole. One of these is the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA), an organization specifically concerned with airline security issues and the implementation of safety measures (Air Safety Week, 2003). Critics have however suggested that the government has been in denial regarding the danger and shortcomings inherent in safety and security measures for commercial airlines.

According to Air Safety Week (2003), CAPA has implemented a measure by which it grades the governmental effort towards improving aviation security. And even two years after the September 11 attacks, the grades still fall considerably short of the desired result. CAPA thus suggests several areas where safety and security measures for commercial airlines could be improved. The areas of perimeter security and screening practices are specifically targeted for improvement by means of training, advanced equipment, and a higher density of surveillance throughout. Furthermore all employees of the aviation industry are to carry specific identification in order to minimize the risk of infiltration, while crew training is to be improved in order to better deal with possible high-risk situations on an aircraft. It is however interesting that delays and shortcomings still, in the year 2004, appear to litter the airline industry. According to Pit & Quarry (2004), there were months of delays before the $60 billion for aviation safety were approved by means of legislation.
Despite this, "The Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2115) appears to a positive step in the direction of providing a greater amount of airline security for citizens and airline professionals. The Conference Report, according to Pit & Quarry (2004), was already filed during July 2003, and passed at the end of October in the same year. The delays for final approval are blamed on the requirement of privatizing the air traffic control system before the legislation could be approved. The problem was however that funding vital for security and safety improvements were delayed throughout the country, which seemed to take a secondary position to tedious legal processes.

The fact that the legislation has been passed in January 2004, however, means that safety and security measures could finally begin. Infrastructure and modernization of security measures while continuing to provide high quality services to the community is made possible by the new bill, providing $14 billion for airport improvements. The improvement program stretches over four years, and includes guarantees of continued excellence in aviation service and spending efficiency while measures are being implemented. Of particular importance is the fact that cargo pilots will be allowed to carry arms for protecting their aircraft against terrorists (Pit & Quarry, 2004). Furthermore the FAA management structure will be improved and clarified.

These changes all appear very positive, yet it appears that unprecedented delays have occurred despite the fact that improvements were obviously necessary.….....

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