Soaring Security

By Cristina Frank

November 7, 2011 Updated Nov 7, 2011 at 8:37 AM EDT

Town of Maine (WBNG Binghamton) - With the holiday season coming up - it means packing bags and making travel plans for many Americans.

For those who fly, it also means planning for baggage checks and pre-boarding screenings.

In the 10 years since the 9/11 attacks, travelers have to deal with those types of changes.

Action News reporter Cristina Frank takes a look how airport security is still evolving.

Travelers at the Greater Binghamton Airport say they know the drill.

"Container size, shampoo, girly things..."

"Well, you have to leave all liquids and have everything in small containers. Which is difficult."

"Shoes off."

"I actually had a pineapple juice that I snuck into my snack bag and they confiscated it."

It's a part of ever-changing security measures facing travelers.

Since 9/11, air experts say the way we fly commercially has changed substantially.

"Before 9/11, screening was run by private screeners through private screen companies..and after 9/11 at airports across the country, those private screeners were replaced with screeners from what is called the Transportation Security Administration. And the federal government completely took over the screening of passengers before they get on a commercial flight, " Broome County Commissioner of Aviation Carl Beardsley says.

Our Action News crew even tried to see if they could go through airport security off camera. Even with the airport asking - the TSA says without a boarding pass, no one can get past the gates.

Along with tighter rules of who can get to the gate - airports are closely inspected and tested by the federal government to make sure regulations are met.

"Screening is without a doubt the one you notice the most, but certainly from an airport operations standpoint - some of the testing and some of the new regulations that we've been faced that you're not going to see: as you board the plane. Those are more that you see on the airfield, the security fences, the runways, the taxi ways and the ramps are - those changes have really taken a toll," Beardsley says.

Every airport must have a fence that completely surrounds the tarmec and has to be checked often.

At BGM - it's inspected on a daily basis.

The TSA says it takes a 3 dimensional approach to safety: are the right procedures, technology and man power in place to counter a possible threat.

"Instead of trying to defend against everything - we're trying to defend against the risk. We measure that risk and do the best....intel drives operations, " TSA Federal Security Director Daniel Liddel says.

In a world of evolving risks and threats - airports say it's working with passengers, the federal government and diligence to keep air travel safe.

Broome County's Commissioner of Aviation say advanced security technology - like body scanners, could at some point come to smaller regional airports like Binghamton.

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