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U.S. aviation security timeline

June 12, 2011|By Jane Engle | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The government orders random inspections of passenger shoes and limits carry-on bags to one bag plus one personal item per passenger. It mandates reinforced cockpit doors on U.S. passenger planes.

The government begins banning certain dangerous items, such as scissors, knives and box cutters, from carry-on bags.

2002

A gunman opens fire at an El Al ticket counter at LAX, killing two people before he is shot to death by a security guard.

The government begins requiring passengers to display valid government ID. It restricts access beyond airport checkpoints.

A federal program is created to arm and train pilots to defend against hijackings and other violence.

By year's end, TSA is screening all checked bags for explosives, prohibited items and other dangerous materials at all U.S. airports. Bags are subject to hand searches.

2004

The TSA abandons plans to test a new Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS II) for millions of passengers to detect potential terrorists and begins testing a Registered Traveler program, in which frequent travelers who submit to pre-screening and fingerprinting are allowed to use faster security lines.

2006

British officials foil a plot to blow up aircraft using liquid explosives in carry-on bags, on flights from Britain to the U.S.

All liquids, gels and aerosols are banned from carry-ons; the ban is later eased to allow travel-sized toiletries of 3 ounces or less. TSA loosens its ban on certain sharp objects.

TSA announces it will train more than 500 "behavior detection officers" to scan passengers for suspicious behaviors.

TSA launches the Registered Traveler pilot program.

2007

TSA begins requiring passengers to remove laptop computers, video cameras and other electronics for separate screening.

2008

TSA ends the Registered Traveler program, leaving it to private companies. The private effort falters.

TSA bans lithium batteries from checked luggage unless they are installed in electronic equipment.

2009

A Nigerian is charged with attempting to detonate explosives in his underwear on Northwest Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit..

Passengers are forbidden to leave their seats an hour before arrival; the rule is later eased.

2010

TSA deploys about 500 Advanced Imaging Technology units, or full-body scanners, to screen passengers for non-metallic and metallic threats. It begins using "enhanced" pat-down procedures at airports for secondary screening and for passengers who decline full-body scanning.

TSA finishes implementing its Secure Flight program, in which airlines submit passengers' names for matching against a watch list of known or suspected terrorists.

SOURCES:

U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Transportation Security Administration, Los Angeles Times, Aviation Safety Network

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