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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has authority to approve air carrier requests to deploy less-than-lethal weapons, including electric stun devices, onboard commercial aircraft to thwart an attack.
Federal intelligence agencies have reported that in the past, terrorists have considered using general aviation aircraft (all aviation other than commercial and military) for terrorist acts, and that the September 11th terrorists learned to fly at general aviation flight schools.
In the 2 years since passage of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has primarily focused its efforts on improving aviation security through enhanced passenger and baggage screening.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued flight restrictions to prevent flights over certain areas, to include stadiums, in response to increased concerns about the threat posed by terrorists using aircraft as a weapon.
The economic well being of the U.S. is dependent on the expeditious flow of people and goods through the transportation system. The attacks on September 11, 2001, illustrate the threats and vulnerabilities of the transportation system.