Every month, airport screens collect a half-million items from passengers, including roughly 160,000 knives, 2000 box cutters and 70 guns. However, two studies soon to be released from the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general are expected to report some troubling news: since the September 11th attacks, airport screeners have failed to stop prohibited items from passing checkpoints.
The reports attribute the failure to do with training, equipment, management and policy. The ranking Democrat on the House Aviation Committee says the screeners are not catching everything they should.
Represenative, Pete DeFazio, a democrat from Oregon says
"They have 1980s technology for 21st century threats. It's not working. It never will work. You could have the best screener in the world, and they would not find many of these threat objects using that obsolete equipment."
After the September 11th attacks, the government created the Transportation Security Administration. At 450 of the nation's airports in early 2002, 45,000 federal employees filled those security screening positions that were previously held by private employees. Some passengers flying through the Reno-Tahoe International Airport feel security is adequate, citing the long lines as the biggest drawback to the new measures. Other passengers feel the security measures have been carried out too far and don't feel any safer because of them.