Is Airport Security Worth the Hassle? Pro

L. Stewart

Austin Controulis

Everyone who has ever gone through an airport has experienced the stringent security measures enacted there. These measures are often written off as annoying menial tasks, but they are put in place to protect the citizens of the United States from terrorist threats. Should airport security be increased?

After the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day by Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, the Underwear Bomber, the 9/11 attacks in 2001, and Richard Reid, the Shoe Bomber’s attempted attack in 2001, TSA has intensified airport security with new policies, creating longer lines and whining travelers.Although the security process at airports can take a long time, taking your shoes off is a small price to pay for national security.

After the failed attack on Christmas Day, the U.S. and TSA security are debating whether to implement full body scans.  The Underwear Bomber has shown airport security that a full body scan is necessary in order to stop future attacks.  Opponents to the full body scan argue that it invades people’s privacy and violates people’s personal rights, which is secondary to the security of all Americans.

According to the TSA there are 40 body scan machines being tested and used in 19 different airports.  Six of the airports are testing the machines as primary security instead of metal detectors, while the rest of the machines offer a voluntary secondary security option instead of a pat down.

Kristin Lee, a spokeswoman for TSA says that the testing has been promising and that over 99 percent of passengers choose the new technology over other screening options.

One advantage to the new technology is speed.  A body scan takes between 15 and 30 seconds, while a pat down takes two to four minutes.  It also gives an alternative to people who don’t like being touched by a security official, and to those who always have to get a pat-down due to hip replacements.

For those worried about being exposed to security officials, the system will use a pair of security officials.  The one working the machine never sees a picture and the other officer sees the image behind closed doors but will never see the passenger.  For further protection, the passenger’s face will be blurred.  The officers monitoring the images will not be allowed to bring cameras or recording devices into the room and the computers that the images are seen on are programmed to automatically delete the images.

National security should trump people’s privacy at any time.  Travelers need to accept that security professionals will be able to see a person’s full body.  Gender specific lines can alleviate many concerns too.  Yes, body scans may lead to a longer security process but they are shorter than pat downs are needed for our national security.

Since the September 11th attacks and attempted shoe bomber attack in 2001, TSA security has become tighter and has led to longer bag checks, the annoying process of taking off one’s shoes and putting toiletries in plastic bags.  Some travelers complain about the wait times at security and the fact that they have to get to the airport two hours early just to get to the gate.  Well, sorry for the inconvenience.
If you are that worried about time, then help the process go faster.  Wear slip-on shoes, have your shoes and belt off, take stuff out of your pockets, and your laptop and bagged toiletries out of your bag before you get to the table so you don’t hold up the line.  Better yet, check your baggage so security has less to check.  And please don’t complain to TSA security when you are up there; they are doing the best they can to keep the country safe and move the line along.

Safety takes time.  If security didn’t care and didn’t check carefully then those whining people could be the next victims of a terrorist attack and I have a feeling they wouldn’t be complaining then.

For those people who believe that TSA security is not needed and a pain, then I say take a bus.