How Atlanta’s airport is keeping travelers safe after 9/11

ATLANTA — Since 9/11, federal agents and security forces have been constantly making changes and adjustments to keep you safe while traveling.

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston learned about a new technology that you may see -- or may not see -- the next time you fly.

Mark Howell is a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration, which was created after the attacks on 9/11.

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Howell said that in the last 20 years, they’ve adjusted security measures based on the threat level, like taking off your shoes or removing liquids and electronics from your bags.

“As we receive intelligence or review data that indicates something has happened, we have to change the rules,” Howell said. “We have to change the tactics that we’re using. "


Howell said those tactics include multiple security layers that most travelers never notice.

Air Marshals as well as flight deck officers still fly on planes. The TSA has also added K-9 explosive detection.

Howell said some new million-dollar scanners are now installed throughout Atlanta’s airport. Hartsfield-Jackson was one of the first airports in the country to get them. Howell said the scanners are less like an X-ray machine and more like a CT scan.

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“When you use one of those lanes, you can leave your electronics and liquids inside your bag, because those machines give us the ability to do a 360-degree look at your bag.”

Working with Homeland Security, the FBI and the CIA, Howell said his team is constantly adding and rearranging security measures, not to confuse or frustrate passengers, but to keep travelers safe from another possible 9/11.

“We don’t want that to happen ever again, and the things we have in place are to make sure they don’t happen,” Howell said.

Traveler Wendy Wilkerson said that since the 9/11 attacks, she understands air travel can seem frustrating, but she said it’s getting better.

“Hartsfield is a lot more organized,” Wilkerson said. “I think they’ve done a great job here.”