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A Kansas City Star investigative packet examines lapses in aviation security, which allowed for the Sept. 11 terrorist attack to occur. Airlines have always fought against draft legislation for raising minimum security standards, the Star reports, in order to keep their attractiveness to customers and profit margins. One of the stories reveals that airlines have regularly sent congressmen on vacation and 'educational' trips for free, in exchange for favorable legislation. Despite constant warnings by the General Accounting Office, not only the Congress, but also the FAA failed to enforce rules to tighten airport security. Some of the findings are that screeners sometimes turned out to be felons, and bags were not scanned for bombs. The investigation focuses on problems detected specifically at the Kansas City International Airport, the nation's 35th busiest airport.
"Some of the country's biggest airlines and in-flight caterers have violated federal health regulations of food storage and sewage handling, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration records. So far this year, the agency has sent six 'warning letters' about violations to carriers including Northwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, AMR Corp.'s American Airlines and Continental Airlines - twice the number send during the same period in 1997." Trains and buses are also discussed.