How flying has changed since 9/11 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

How flying has changed since 9/11

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's a day in history that America will never forget. This Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Since that day, airport security has completely changed.

One of those changes is that the second you buy your ticket the government is already looking into who you are.

"We're partnering with the Customs and Border Protection to identify those who are not a threat," Lindbergh Field Federal Security Director Mike Aguilar said.

It's part of a new program called Secure Flight, just implemented last year. And while that may be new information for some, everyone who flies is aware of the physical changes to security.

"We no longer use the hand-held wand, they actually do a physical pat down," Aguilar said.

Passengers are also still yanking their shoes off and taking off metal objects to go through the metal detectors, but the major security feature added to the mix full body scanners.

"Based on the image he tells these two officers whether they're clear or not, or if there's something unusual or out of the ordinary," Aguilar said.

The agents that actually clear the picture are in this area, but they aren't allowed out until those passengers have cleared the concourse. That's to ensure no connection can be made between the image and the passenger.

"In 2006 the liquid and gel threat we had resulted in a further restriction on the amount and quantity of liquids and gels that can taken on the plane," Aguilar said.

That means bigger cans or bottles are a no-no, and instead replaced by three-ounce bottles stored in a one-quart clear baggie.

All tied together it's a security net designed to minimize the risk, but the TSA admits nothing is perfect.

"There's no silver bullet in either technology or in process," Aguilar said.

Besides passengers making contact with TSA agents and answering security questions, inside the terminal the TSA also now uses specially trained behavior detection officers to try and filter out suspicious activity.

Also since the terror attacks, armed undercover air marshals have also begun to fly on flights to provide a line of defense, should a situation develop on board a flight.

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