A short history of US airport security

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A short history of aviation security in the United States.

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Source: upload.wikimedia.org
Source: upload.wikimedia.org
One of the first major attacks on a U.S. airliner was carried out by 23-year old Jack Graham in 1955 on United Airlines Flight 629. Graham placed a bomb in his mother's luggage in the hopes of cashing out on a life insurance policy. All 44 passengers died. He was tried and sentenced to death. Source: www.fbi.gov

One of the first major attacks on a U.S. airliner was carried out by 23-year old Jack Graham in 1955 on United Airlines Flight 629. Graham placed a bomb in his mother's luggage in the hopes of cashing out on a life insurance policy. All 44 passengers died. He was tried and sentenced to death.

Between 1961 and 1970 a series of hijackings lead to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to deploy incognito Air Marshals on commercial flights.

In 1972, the FAA began its canine program after several incidents where bombs downed passenger airplanes. In December of that year, the FAA required all passengers to be inspected by armed guards or screened by metal detectors. A 2013 report has questioned the effectiveness of the canine program.

Following the infamous Lockerbie 1988 bombing of Pam Am Flight 103 from Heathrow to JFK, where a bomb concealed in a cassette player downed a plane killing all 259 onboard, X-ray scanning of all luggage was implemented by U.S., European and Middle East carriers.

Following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the Transportation Security Adminstration (TSA) was established to create uniform policies to better protect U.S. travel. The TSA was moved to the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.

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After Richard Reid attempts to ignite a bomb in his shoe in Dec. 22, 2001, the TSA implements rules within a day regarding shoe inspections.

In 2006, TSA banned liquids after British officials stopped a bomb plot involving liquid explosives. Later, TSA changed its rules to limit liquids to containers more than 3oz in volume.

In 2007, the TSA began deploying some units that used Advanced Imaging Technology-- also known as body scanners. In 2010 full body scanners were installed at airports. However, after much controversy, the TSA began retiring the units starting in late 2012. Copyright 2014 Reuters

In 2007, the TSA began deploying some units that used Advanced Imaging Technology-- also known as body scanners. In 2010 full body scanners were installed at airports. However, after much controversy, the TSA began retiring the units starting in late 2012.

Following backlash from industry groups and the public, the TSA decided to drop its plans to allow small knives and sport equipment on board planes on June 5.

In 2013 TSA began to prescreen American passengers well before they arrived at the airport by utilizing government and private databases, the New York Times reports. It's unclear what information the agency takes into account and how that information is assessed.

Rahinah Ibrahim is the first person to successfully challenge being placed on a U.S. government watch list, WIRED reports. Details of the trial that ensued from her suing the government for an explanation were kept under wraps due to U.S. officials invoking the privilege of states secrets.

A TSA officer shot dead by a gunman at LAX on Nov. 1 was the first agency employee to be killed in the line of duty in its 12-year history.

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2012 was the safest year on record for the global aviation industry. With 23 accidents causing 475 deaths, the Aviation Safety Network called it the safest since 1945 -- twice as safe as 2011.

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Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson said in a July 2 statement the U.S. will require new security measures from authorities at some airports abroad with direct flights to the U.S.

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