What Is the TSA?


When you are standing in security line at the airport and you see a bunch of uniformed officers putting your luggage through a high-tech scanner. Who are these people? And why are they bothering you? Well, they are the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), and they are here to keep people safe while they are flying on an airplane. The members of the T.S.A are in an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and are in charge of the transportation of the traveling public. They are the people that stop bad people from bringing dangerous items onto airplanes that can result in someone causing a plane to crash.

The TSA was founded on November 19th, 2001. The main cause for the creation of the TSA was the incident, 9/11, and other terrorist attacks like the underwear bomber who tried to conceal explosives in his underpants, but failed to detonate the bomb. In December of 2001, shortly after the TSA had just started, there was a bomb that made it past the screening. The bomb was concealed in the bomber’s shoe. Today something like this would not happen because the imaging has evolved from when the TSA first started, and now we have to take our shoes off when we go through security. In April of 2003, all airlines installed reinforced cockpit doors because of 9/11. The doors are bulletproof, axe proof, and bomb proof. They are pretty much indestructible. Now you know some of the timeline of the TSA.

When you are going through the TSA checkpoint, it might be a little scary at first, but all they are trying to do is keep us safe. The TSA have stopped a ton of items from getting on planes. In a recent analysis in 2017, they had stopped nearly 3,957 firearms from entering a plane from around the country. That is supposedly averaging around 10.8 firearms found per day. Many airports however, contributed a lot to this number. In an airport in Atlanta, Georgia called Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) caught a total of 245 firearms, but however of those 245 guns, 222 of them were loaded, according to the TSA. It might seem like a low number for how many planes leave in one day around the country which is about 87,000 on some days, but there could be hundreds of people on one flight and when there is a bad guy with a gun, it could turn out to be very bad. The TSA’s number one priority is your safety. When you are inside of some airports, there might be someone on a recording on the loudspeaker going around the entire airport saying, “Your safety is our number one priority. So, if you see any suspicious things around the area, please tell the closest personnel.” So after all, there is no need to be scared.

Throughout the TSA there are many different jobs or job titles. The most common position in the TSA is being the TSA Screener. The TSA Screener is the most of the time the second TSA member you greet when going through security at an airport. They are the ones operating the X-Ray machine that underneath it, has a conveyor belt that is carrying all of the passengers carry on luggage through a little tunnel where the X-Ray machine does its thing. Any suspicious things that are found on the X-Ray machine monitor will be put aside and the TSA officers will find the owner of the bag. They will then take them into secondary checking where they open up the luggage to find the culprit of what looked unusual through the X-Ray views on things. If the item is not what it looked like and is allowed on the airplane, they will let the owner go and they can go enjoy the rest of their day. However, if that is not allowed on the plane, the officer will take the item into a room and the item will be kept there. This is the job where almost all of the things that are not supposed to be on planes are stopped. The average salary of a Screener is around $40,000 a year according to the TSA. If I were to work for the TSA, I would work as an Air Marshal. The Air Marshal are the people that travel around the country by traveling around 180 days a year to look into and investigate to help protect as many planes as they can from things bad happening to them.

Throughout the years of the TSA, the organization have been constantly coming up with ideas that make the security experience at airports easier. One way that the TSA came up with is TSA PRE. The TSA Pre experience is much more efficient compared to the regular security checkpoint in airports because you do not have to take off your shoes or belt, and you are able to leave large electronics in your bag. The TSA did this because of all of the congestion in the security lines. To become part of TSA PRE, all you have to do is register online and then go to the airport to get your fingerprints scanned into the system. My family has TSA PRE, and when we go through security we rarely ever have to stop moving because the process is a lot quicker. I would highly recommend TSA PRE to any family that does not like waiting in airport security lines.

In conclusion, the TSA’s number one priority is the safety of everyone. It can be from stopping bombs from going through the security check or to make sure no suspicious activities or things occur doing a nice relaxing travel day on a plane. Even though the TSA have created a faster way to get through security, they still do everything they can to stop fatal activities such as the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. If you do make a trip over the summer by plane, make sure to give a warm welcoming thanks to the TSA officers working everyday to make sure everyone stays safe.


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