Plus, U.S. officials estimate that federalizing airport security, under consideration in Washington, could require as many as 28,000 new hires. Air marshals for domestic flights could necessitate thousands more.
But the effectiveness of these measures is questionable. Most guards receive little training, are paid less than $10 an hour and typically do not carry weapons. Turnover is also a problem. In 1999, more than one-third of guards were in their jobs less than 11 months, according to the Labor Department.