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Airport security guards' duties play an important role in the ongoing safety of airports, and international and domestic flights. In the aftermath of 9/11, increased airport security has been a regular feature of news stories. Frequent fliers now have to deal with increased regulation and security efforts.
One of the most important duties of airport security guards is to provide ongoing surveillance of airport facility buildings and the surrounding grounds. Airport security guards must look out for suspicious activity that could endanger people at the airport or on planes. Airport security guards patrol airport facilities on foot, in automobiles designated for security purposes and through security cameras.
Airport security guards screen airline passengers and their clothes, using X-ray machines and other electronic devices. Security screeners examine baggage to ensure that no harmful or explosive substances are being carried onto the airplane. They also check for weapons such as knives and guns, which could be used by a terrorist to hijack a flight, and take the crew and passengers hostage. They also examine passengers' behavior, ensuring they aren't intoxicated or unruly enough to disrupt a flight.
Airport security guards rarely have to enforce laws through more coercive measures. Unruly passengers or those who exhibit suspicious behavior may be apprehended for questioning or even arrested, depending on the offense. Disruptive passengers may be asked to leave the airport or escorted away by an airport security guard. Airport security guards keep the peace and protect passenger safety by enforcing rules regarding flight boarding and proper behavior.
Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.