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Securing Airports in the Aftermath of 9-11 Essay

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Updated: Mar 2nd, 2022

The infamous event, September 11, 2001 at ground zero, the World Trade Center was like Pearl Harbor but on a more frightening scale. This is because the attack was made at the heart of U.S. Mainland. Aside from the target what is most chilling about this attack is the weapon of choice. It was no sophisticated military gadget but a commercial airplane used by terrorists to topple two towers of glass and steel. Afterwards there is no other sector of society that received greater scrutiny other than the aviation industry and the main goal is to make it more secure against terrorists.

Advanced Technology

This is the Information Age, created without a doubt by computers and sophisticated networking of computers. But instead of relying merely on interconnected but unmanageable networks the Federal Government must continue to invest in technology that will enhance information sharing. At a conceptual level experts labeled this relatively new technology as “data fusion” (National Research Council, p. 21). In its simplest form “data fusion” is the creation of system where various government agencies and data coming from these different agencies can be registered and consolidated in one system (National Research Council, p. 21). This will enable the Federal government to link and associate different information and this system can easily find the connection between suspected terrorists and suspicious activities.

Human scanners can be used to protect airports from terrorist attacks. Yet, this method is prone to human error. There is a need to use equipment such as x-ray machines and metal detectors. Yet, it does not take a security expert to know that these measures are not enough, especially when it comes to detecting weapons not made of metal. In response, new technology is being deployed such as the Explosives Trace Detection or ETD (Greene, p. 37). As the name suggests the ETC system enables security officials to detect trace amounts of explosives (Greene, p. 38). This is very helpful as it will provide an advantage for security personnel against a carefully planned attack.

Secure Cargo

One major weakness when it comes to airline security is the place where they will store cargo that will subsequently be loaded to outgoing airplanes. If terrorists can access these sensitive areas then they can easily plant a bomb that they can remote-detonate or use a timer for it to explode in midair. One way of securing this very sensitive area is to use biometric screening procedures (Elias, p. 357). This system uses fingerprint scanners to prevent unauthorized entry. For those who are not familiar with this equipment, a biometric scanner requires that each employee and those given access to sensitive areas will have to register their fingerprint together with the needed personal information. Each human being has a unique fingerprint and this ensures that only those who are authorized are able to enter in.

Advanced biometrics technology will not only rely on human fingerprint detection but also the person’s facial features, iris, retina, and voice (Green, p. 38). According to experts, biometrics technology allows airport security to link the identification of the person to their physiological features, which cannot be faked (Greene, p. 38). The use of biometrics can be used not only in places where cargo must be secured. This type of technology must be installed in every access point of the airport in order to enhance its security. These advanced technologies will create a powerful deterrent that will make terrorist think many times before attempting their dastardly acts but when they do make the attempt, the same will help bring them to justice.

Works Cited

Greene, Jack. The Encyclopedia of Police Science. New York: Routledge, 2007.

National Research Council. Fusion of Security System Data to Improve Security. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2007.

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