9/11: Changes in Flight

By: Posted: Monday, 6:33pm
By: Posted: Monday, 6:33pm

The terror attacks of 9/11 forever changed the way we fly. The most significant change came with the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, in November of 2001.

TSA says air travel is safer than it's ever been with the rules evolving with each new threat. The most recent restrictions came down last month after a foiled terror plot in the United Kingdom.

Gels, liquids and pastes are no longer allowed in carry-ons and shoes must be removed at checkpoints. It's no longer an option.

Jason Roberts, flying out of Tallahassee Regional Monday morning, said, "It's a lot longer lines and definitely checking all of our bags now instead of carry on. We used to always carry on, and now we never do."

Since 9/11, the layers of security at airports nationwide have expanded. Checkpoints once controlled by private security companies hired by the airlines were taken over by federal TSA screeners in 2002. At Tallahassee Regional Airport, there had been just one private security company, the federal screeners in place two months before the mandated deadline on November 2002. Today there are as many as 50 TSA screeners.

Scott Taylor, acting TSA Federal Security Director for the Tallahassee area, says the switch to federal screeners was just the start.

"We reinforced cockpit doors in the aircraft, the Federal Air Marshals program was significantly expanded, and last but not least, we're now screening all checked luggage."

Hundreds of passengers continued with their flight plans on Monday at Tallahassee Regional, the five year anniversary of the terror attacks not scaring them away.

Michael Friedberg of Orlando said, "We just have to do what we can to protect ourselves."

The TSA says it's constantly assessing potential threats and additional security changes could come.

Zane Price of Pensacola said, "I'm all for the changes. It just takes less worry out of your mind."

Tallahassee Regional Airport will soon overhaul its security checkpoint. The City of Tallahassee says it's a $1.4 million project that's been on the books for about seven to eight years. However, after 9/11 airport officials say changes were made to the plans.

Passengers will notice the changes starting this fall. The entire project expected to take about six months.


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