Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001

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Legislation Paper

Jeffrey Geronimo Rodriguez

Mount Vernon Nazarene University


February 27, 2014

Mrs. Leah Thomas-Dalton

Legislation History and Motivation

The Aviation Security Act of 2001 requires airlines to take extra security measures to protect passengers, including the installation of stronger cockpit doors, improved baggage screening, and increased security training for airport personnel (Lamb, 2011, pg 129). Actually labeled the “Aviation and Transportation Security Act” (ATSA), this amendment to federal transportation law established within the Department of Transportation (DOT) the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) which will take responsibility to oversee all modes of transportation that are exercised by the DOT. This includes (1) civil aviation security; (2) security over other modes of transportation exercised by the DOT; (3) day to day federal security screening operations for passenger transportation and intrastate air transportation; (4) policies, strategies, and plans for dealing with threats to transportation; (5) domestic transportation during national emergency, including aviation, rail, other surface transportation, maritime transportation, and port security; (6) management of security information, including notifying airport or airline security officers of the identity of individual known to pose a risk of air piracy or terrorism (www.govtrack.us). For the purpose of this paper, the focus will be limited to the aviation portion of the ATSA bill.

As everyone is well aware, the events of September 11, 2001 proved to the watershed for aviation security in the United States. That day, the unthinkable happened when a group of terrorist had turned four passenger aircraft into weapons of mass destruction resulting in the most catastrophic act of terrorism in modern history. The National Commission on Terrorists Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) found that al Qaeda...