9/11 anniversary

How Security Has Changed at Boston Logan Airport Since 9/11

"A significant change since 9/11 is our reliance on teamwork, collaboration in terms of security," said Hank Shaw, the chief security officer for Massport

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Two of the four planes used in the September 11 attacks left from Boston's Logan airport. Twenty years later, security is tighter and agencies are now working more closely to help stop threats.

Hank Shaw, the chief security officer for Massport, spoke with NBC10 Boston in a rare one-on-one interview.

"A significant change since 9/11 is our reliance on teamwork, collaboration in terms of security," Shaw said.

He added that the traveling public is safer now that it was two decades ago, "just in terms of our ability to more effectively and efficiently communicate and coordinate in terms of assists that we have here," he continued.

Every day starts with a morning security briefing with all agencies and staff at Logan airport where they share information and collaborate between front line employees, management and law enforcement, Shaw said.

Virginia Buckingham, who ran Boston Logan International Airport on September 11, 2001, felt a sense of guilt for a long time, wondering if she could really be responsible for the worst terror attack on U.S. soil.

Asked if that was what was missing prior to 9/11, Shaw said, "Times have changed, threats have changed."

Prior to his post at Massport, Shaw served as the special agent in charge for FBI's Boston division.

He said the most difficult part of the new threats they face is that it's ever changing: "There are things out there that are continuing to evolve and you have to evolve with the threat."

The major threats, he said, come from counter-terror, cyber- and violent crime.

Asked if there was one threat that keeps him up at night, Shaw replied, "It's a number (of them), and we have to be nimble and somewhat flexible in terms of dealing with those threats that come with us."

Logan airport is marking the 9/11 anniversary with a TSA honor guard at the checkpoint. Both American and United airlines hold private ceremonies to remember the passengers and crew from both flights.

The work goes on to protect that airport two decades later.

"It is a time not only for us to remember but to recognize and to be humble in terms of the greater sacrifices and the losses that happened on 9/11," Shaw said.

Poet Joan Murray wrote "Survivors – Found" on an NYC-bound Amtrak train four days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She met some firemen who were on their way to look for survivors and was inspired to write about those who survived that day. Twenty years later, we look back on that day through her words.
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