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Questions on safety reign supreme in air travel realm

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One would have to be living under a rock not to know the mass fascination with the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, and how that disappearance and the subsequent inability to locate the plane has captured the minds and hearts of people worldwide.

In the wake of what seems to be a crash of the aircraft, people have been questioning the safety measures in the cockpits of planes. Additionally, on March 26, in another safety emphasis, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued a report regarding increasing airport security in the wake of the deadly shooting at LAX last November. And, of course, recent blockbuster movies like Non-Stop, featuring a federal air marshal appearing to combat a hijacking situation on a plane, have hit the box office in the last couple of months. Thus, safety is on the mind of travelers and administrators alike.

According to the TSA, the report reflects the input from various sources, including TSA employees, law enforcement, airport operators, and industry stakeholders. Due to the shooting, the TSA recommends that there be an increased presence in uniformed officers, mandatory active shooter training, and ensuring that all airports have maximum response times. The agency also recommends bi-annual training for airport operators, routine testing of duress alarms, and improving Federal Air Marshals notification regarding active shooter incidents.

But the cries for increased safety don’t stop at the airport. Many are wondering, with evidence that transponders and communication devices being disabled in the Flight 370 cockpit, whether these devices should be able to be manually shut off, or if there are more precautions that should be taken or red flags that should alert not just in airports, but while planes are in the air, especially in a potential hijacking situation.

Sound off. What measures do you think should be instituted to keep air travelers safe?