Anybody old enough to remember the tragic events of 9/11 will recall the horrifying images that unfolded in front of our eyes on TV screens around the world.

The world changed forever that day, as did airport security after 19 hijackers were able to board four separate flights.

At 8:46am Flight 11 crashed into the north face of the North Tower (1WTC) of the World Trade Center between the 93rd and the 99th floors.

At 9:03 Flight 175 crashed into the south face of the South Tower (2WTC) OF The World Trade Center between the 77th and the 85th floors.

Within one hour and 42 minutes of the initial attack, the two towers that had dominated the New York skyline had collapsed.

184 people were also killed at the Pentagon in Washington when American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the building.

40 passengers and crew died near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when a flight crashed into a field. Reports suggest passengers resisted the terrorists after learning of earlier attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The 9/11 Commission believes the target was either the United States Capitol building or the White House in Washington.

The impact on air travel was almost instant.

On the day the attacks took place, the UK Prime Minister at the time, Tony Blair, said: “We have stepped up security at airports to the highest levels.

“No flight will take off from the United Kingdom for which we cannot apply the highest standards of security for air crew and passengers.

“Private flights have been stopped except where specifically authorised. Flightpaths into London have been changed so that there will be no civil overflights over central London.”

Here are a number of changes to airport security that followed the 9/11 attacks.

Tighter security screening in airports

There was of course security screening before 9/11 but it was nowhere near as intrusive.

Almost all security screening measures we encounter today were introduced in the wake of 9/11 and those that weren’t were made much stricter.

Measures include:

  • Stricter bag scanning
  • No blades allowed on planes
  • No large liquids
  • Full-body scans
  • Removing shoes during security checks

Airport boundaries

Airports introduced tighter boundaries within airports and cut off points for those not travelling.

Friends and family could wave each other off at airports and wait to welcome people home however this was stopped after 9/11.

These days large parts of airports are cut off to people not travelling.

Pilot Safety

Pilot safety was the first major change in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to protect flights.

Pilots are now locked behind bulletproof doors for the entire flight only allowed to take breaks for the restroom.

Creation of Transport Security Administration in the US

The US introduced the Transport Security Administration (TSA) in November 2001 to improves security of transport for both people and commerce.

TSA officials operate as official government workers under the Department of Homeland Security.