A No-Fly List Overview

On February 23, 2017, in Blog, by Karina Popa

Due to the 911 attacks of the terrorists on the US with the use of airplanes, a list been developed by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, list known as the No-Fly list. This is supposedly a security measure aimed to prevent any acts of terrorism by means of prohibiting fraudulent individuals from boarding an aircraft. Still, the legality, as well as efficiency of such a list is questionable in some ways.

Those who are included in the list are not permitted to travel within or to other countries from the US. As a matter of fact, they are not allowed to ride the airplane no matter what purpose. They also cannot take a plane bound for the US.

The list contains very confidential contents. No one knows the actual names or number of people that make up the list. Therefore, those whose names appear on the list do not have the slightest idea that they are potential suspects. Now, in case a person is prevented from using automatic check-in services that are accessible to other passengers in general, this clearly indicates that he/she is part of the No-Fly list, since these privileges are only denied to such individuals.

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the No-Fly List is a very critical part of the aviation security, since it refuses entry of familiar terrorists in the plane. The American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the American government for creating this list. They say that statistics do not necessarily prove that the list is really efficient. They also say that it is almost impossible to ascertain beforehand that a person could be a terrorist.

Aside from the TSA, airline companies have a big responsibility in preventing the persons on the list from entering airplanes. Whenever a name gets added to the TSA no-fly list, the airlines is obliged to check the updated list within two hours of receiving a message from the US government, and in turn, make the necessary changes.

The list has been formulated thinking about the best purpose. However, it has created some problems and garnered many criticisms.  One of the major problems of creating this list is the reality that a lot of innocent people are considered suspects. Since they are on the list, they may be arrested, questioned and prevented from boarding a plane. There were incidents wherein kids were refused entry to the aircraft because their names resembled suspected terrorists. For this reason, the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program or DHS/TRIP came about. This provides a chance to those who maintain that their name has been added to the list by mistake.