Airport screening since 9/11; what the future holds for Sky Harbor

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PHOENIX, Ariz.-- It's hard to even remember what airport security screenings were like before 9/11. So how did we get here? And what does the future hold?

Everyday, 2 million people are screened in airports around the nation, and everyone has an opinion about the process.

"I'm offended taking off my shoes, I don't think it does any good"... "The most annoying would be the liquids, not being able to take a bottle of water through"..."As long as they're doing it for everybody it gives me a sense of calm," were just a few of passenger responses. 

So how did we get here?

Shortly after September 11th, 2001, the Transportation Security Administration was formed.

2001- Passengers are required to remove their shoes, reinforced cockpit doors in airplanes, air marshals on flights that are determined to be high risk

2002- Terror alert system created

2006- 3-1-1 Liquid rule implemented

2009- Advanced Imaging Technology, or body scans

2010 - Enhanced pat down procedures

Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says it's working.

"If you unpacked the plot that occurred on 9/11 we have multiple ways that we'd be able to interrupt that plot that didn't exist then," she said.

Napolitano also said Tuesday that technology is getting better and predicts it won't be long before the "no shoes" rule goes away.

Heather Callahan, Federal Security Director for Sky Harbor Airport, says before that happens, passengers can look forward to less intrusive imaging technology.

"There will almost be a cookie cutter image of the person there on the screen," she said.

That "cookie cutter" image technology is already being used in a few airports around the nation.

Phoenix will have to wait six months to a year before it lands at Sky Harbor.