AIRPLANES AND SECURITY

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       A few hundred years ago the main forms of transport were walking or riding a horse, donkey, camel and elephant, depen­ding on where you lived.

       Nowadays, in most countries long journeys involve some form of motorized transport. People today tend to travel longer distances, more often and at much higher speeds. As a result the world has shrunk over the last century and we now live in a global economy.

       There are great advantages in this, but there is a down side too. More travel has also resulted in noise and air pollution, increased stress and damages to local environments and the larger ecosystem.

       I am going to tell you about airplane travel. It is the fas­test, to my thinking, more convenient means of travelling, be­cause it saves our time and sometimes money. For instance, in the USA, if you travel from east Coast to the west by air jet, it results cheaper for you than to travel by train.

In 1903, the Wright brothers made the first controlled machine-powered flight. It only lasted 12 seconds but changed the world forever.

        A century later, air travel is no longer a miracle; it’s some­thing, we take for granted. One billion air passengers now fly every year — that’s equivalent to a sixth of the world’s popu­lation.

Is it safety to travel by plane? Before September, 11,2001, it used to be a relatively safe travel.

On September, 11, terrorists attacked on America. Since then, security at airports and in the skies has been under scru­tiny. That day four passenger planes were hijacked, more than 4,000 people killed.

        On busy summer’s days, thousands planes travel through skies. To make sure everything runs smoothly, there are air traffic control centers. In addition, every airport has an air traffic control tower. Every square meter of airspace is allo­cated to an air traffic controller. As an aircraft travels through the air, it is monitored by the controller responsible for that sector of airspace.

       To calm fears about terrorist hijacks, airports are looking into new technologies that reveal passengers’ identities.

       Previously in the US, less than 10% of luggage was screened. Under new legislation, every item must be checked by one of three following methods: sniffer dogs, bomb detec­tion machines, extensive manual searches. Around the globe, security firms are working on new devices that can detect materials such as ceramics — which can be made into guns. One such scanning camera has been developed in Britain. It uses thermal imaging technology originally created to help pilots see through fog and cloud.

 

 

 

QUESTIONS:

 

1. What was the main means of transport a few centuries ago?

2. How did travels affect ecology?

3. Is it a miracle to travel by plane today?

4. Is it safety to travel by plane?

5. How do they make sure everything runs smoothly?

6. Why are the airports looking into new technologies that reveal passengers’ identities?

7. What are the main methods of baggage checking?

8. What are security firms working on today?

 

 

VOCABULARY:

donkey — осел

camel — верблюд

to depend on — зависеть от чего-л.

to involve — вовлекать

to tend — иметь тенденцию    

to shrink (past shrank, p.p. shrunk) — зд. сокращаться

advantage — преимущество

air pollution — загрязнение воздуха

to increase — увеличивать  

damage — повреждение, ущерб

environment — окружающая среда

convenient — удобный

airjet — реактивный самолет

machine-powered flight — управляемый полет на машине

miracle — чудо

to take for granted — воспринимать что-либо как само собой разумеющееся

security — безопасность

scrutiny — зд. находиться под пристальным контролем / вниманием  

to hijack — угонять самолет

to run smoothly — пройти гладко

air traffic control tower — башня авиадиспетчера

to allocate— размещать, распределять

aircraft — авиалайнер

to monitor — проверять, контролировать

to calm fears — развеять страхи

to reveal — выявить, раскрыть

identity — личность

to screen — демонстрировать на экране, отображать

a sniffer dog — собака-ищейка

thermal imaging — термальное изображение

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