By Johanna Rodriguez
Eighteen years have passed since the U.S. was struck by a series of terrorist attacks that took the lives of 2,996 people on September 11, 2001 in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Whether people watched the tragedy unfold in person or on a television screen, the entire nation watched in disbelief, and the changes it brought in security were plentiful and justified.
An important change that resulted from the attacks was strict regulations to air travel.
The Aviation and Transportation Act was passed in November 2001 “to improve aviation security,” according to the Transportation Security Administration.
There were necessary major changes to air travel regulations that took place at the end of 2001 that were not entirely approved by the public.
Those who traveled before 2001 might miss not having to arrive three hours before their flight, keeping their shoes on during the screening process or not having to take their laptops out of the cases.
Airports also limited the weight of bags and liquids brought on board a flight. The TSA website states that passengers can only have up to 100ml of liquid in their carry-on bags. This is to protect passengers from liquid-based explosives.
The improved regulations on air travel added a lot of time when boarding flights.
Before the September 11 attacks, however, certain items that are now considered weapons, such as box cutters, blades and sewing needles, were not prohibited by the Federal Aviation Administration. This is one of the reasons why airport screenings were fast; potential weapons were on board flights.
The 9/11 Commission Report said that there were many layers to screenings that helped track prohibited items before 2001; however, “numerous government reports indicated that checkpoints performed poorly.”
After the September 11 attacks, fear was instilled in many people causing a decline in air travel. The terrorist attacks that happened stopped people from flying in fear of a similar tragedy happening.
Air travel took a halt after the terrorist attack occurred and the flights of many were cancelled.
The decision to implement all the current regulations to air travel was correct and has prevented any further possible terrorist attacks.
Even when the technology was flawed, technological improvements have advanced in a short amount of time.
Technological advances have also helped with the detection of weapons.
Airports have advanced past metal detectors and passengers are now screened through body scanners, explosive detectors and physical searches.
The U.S. is not the only country with strict airport regulations. At airports in Singapore, Brussels and Istanbul, vehicles are screened before any drop-off, according to Business Insider.
A timeline on ProPublica.org titled, “History of the Federal Air Marshal Service” showed that the newly created TSA hired more than 4,000 Air Marshals in 2001 for further protection.
The reason airport safety is crucial to everyone in the world is the simple truth that traveling by plane is a popular mode of transportation.
As of 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration states 2,789,971 passengers fly through U.S airports every day.
Whether it’s for work, school or vacation, planes take us to other parts of the world. It is safer to board a plane now than it was decades ago.