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How Transportation, Security Changed After 9/11

How Transportation, Security Changed After 9/11

Wednesday is the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, a day when nearly 3,000 people were killed.

One lasting effect of the attack, carried out with hijacked planes, has been a revamping of the nation's transportation security paradigm. Here's a look at how 9/11 changed how Americans move.

Air Travel

Air travel remains the transportation mode most affected by the lessons of 9/11.

For those who have only experienced flying after 2001, a flight without long Transportation Security Administration lines, scanners and laborious security measures is simply unimaginable.

The TSA enacted several changes to airport security checkpoints and practices. Security consists of both carry-on and checked bag screening, as well as pat-down screening, which abide by a structured list of approved and unapproved travel objects.

The TSA developed a risk-based passenger pre-screening program that identifies high- and low-risk travelers based on a specific algorithm, according to the agency.

“Passenger screening at the airport is part of TSA’s layered approach to security to get you safely to your destination," the TSA said on its website. "TSA’s screening procedures are intended to prevent prohibited items and other threats to transportation security from entering the sterile area of the airport and are developed in response to information on threats to transportation security.”

Since the attacks, the airline industry has faced numerous headwinds, according to a study published by Business Insider a decade after 9/11.

For instance, airlines have lost over $50 billion; services from popular airlines like Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) have been dropped; and industry giants Continental and United Airlines merged into United Continental Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: UAL).

See Also: One Trader's Account Of September 11, 2001


Destroyed in the terrorist attacks, New York City's Cortlandt Street subway station has reopened after 17 years

The renovation cost $181 million and the station has an improved ventilation system, elevator access and updated design, according to NPR.

In August, Los Angeles’ Union Station became the first metro station to use body scanners in an effort to reveal suspicious or potentially harmful objects on passengers before they are able to board.

The technology will “help detect weapon and explosive device security threats on the county's transit system, according to a statement by the Transportation Security Administration.

Based on another report from NPR, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority partnered with the TSA to test different devices, and will test similar devices on other systems in San Francisco, New Jersey, New York City and Washington, D.C.

Customs And Border Protection

The events of 9/11 affected how immigration takes place in the U.S. Following the passing of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Department of Homeland Security now screens and collects data from international travelers, as well as interviews and shares information about people from selected countries.

Other departments created in light of the events include Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

According to information from the CBP's official website, the members of the organization “are responsible for enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws and regulations. On a typical day, CBP welcomes nearly 1 million visitors, screens more than 67,000 cargo containers, arrests more than 1,100 individuals and seizes nearly 6 tons of illicit drugs. Annually, CBP facilitates an average of more than $3 trillion in legitimate trade while enforcing U.S. trade laws.”

In general, the issue of national security has returned to the forefront of national discussion, with the push from President Donald Trump to fight the entrance of undocumented immigrants into the country.

The article was originally published on Sept. 11, 2018.


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