One story that made us pause was that of former American Airlines employee, Vaughn Allex, who checked in passengers aboard AA Flight 77, including a few who would later hijack the airplane.
During that time in 2001, airport security did not have the strict policies we have today. Vaughn Allex followed the procedures of checking IDs, asking a few questions, and even flagging passengers’ bags for further inspection. Flight 77 was hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001 and its crash into the Pentagon in Washington, DC killed all 64 people on board, including five hijackers and six crew members, as well as 125 people in the building.
Post-9/11 progress in Aviation Security has been tremendous. The partnership of airports, airlines, pilots and personnel with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense - have helped enhance safety while preserving passenger rights and comfort. The evolving security of the aviation industry continues to be a national concern. The Aviation Department at Lewis University offers a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Security, which trains professionals to protect air transportation centers, passengers, and cargo.