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Airline Industry Continues To Re-think Security Procedures

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The events of Sept. 11 forced the airline industry to rethink their security plans. Many of the changes have been made, like using National Guard troops at airports across the country. However, some high-tech security measures the government has available are not being used.

Airports are checking IDs, searching bags and confiscating anything that could be used as a weapon. They are also working with new technology to make air travel more secure.

Computers using powerful software can positively identify people based on facial features, eyes or fingerprints. A machine in a California airport X-rays luggage, scanning for bombs and other dangerous items.

A new walk-through detector scans passengers for explosives. Blasts of air loosens trace particles of explosive material and identifies it. A picture of the passenger is also taken, so security agents can be notified if trace particles are found.

Some analysts warn the U.S. aviation industry should avoid rushing to adopt the new equipment.

Airlines are now considering ideas such as bomb-proof baggage containers, ignored until now. They have been approved by the FAA and been on the market for several years, but no U.S. airline has bought them.


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