Activism, Advocacy, and History

The activism that emerged from the Pan Am 103 terrorist attack resulted in sweeping changes that enhanced aviation safety and security. These champions fought to develop legislation for just restitution for terror victims and to provide basic assistance to victims of air disasters and terrorism. They spearheaded the creation of mandates to protect and strengthen the rights of the American flying public… But there is still more to be done to bring the attackers to justice and to keep flyers safe.

In our expanded website we will explore in depth the topics below using thematic timelines noting key historical milestones.

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Aviation Safety and Security

What you need to know before booking another flight: Airlines continue to shrink passenger space, including seat size, row spacing and aisles, creating a major passenger safety issue, especially for those larger, older, and less able-bodied. Overcrowding has exponentially increased in-flight disruptive and violent behavior and the inability to perform FAA-required emergency passenger evacuation within 90 seconds. FAA policies allow the aviation industry to load tons of unscanned/unsecured U.S. mail, hazardous materials, and cargo onto passenger aircraft without smoke detectors and fire suppressants. Support efforts to get FAA/DOT to set minimum passenger space requirements akin to current rules for transporting animals!

Justice and Accountability

Terrorists bombed a U.S. flag carrier, Pan American Flight 103, murdering 259 aboard and 11 in Lockerbie. U.S. federal courts have jurisdiction to prosecute crimes on board U.S. aircraft regardless of location. Why did the U.S. abandon Americans and abdicate lead investigative responsibility to Scotland’s smallest police force? U.S. authorities have never prosecuted any suspects. Scottish courts tried two Libyans, convicted one, ultimately releasing both. US Attorney General Bill Barr stated “I felt that our follow up to the attack was not sufficient and… the full measure of justice was denied. Today, the three-decade pursuit of accountability and justice by the victims’ loved ones continues.

Terrorism, War, and Petro Aggression

Oil, the world’s most important commodity, generates much power and wealth. Large consumers of oil, including the U.S. and UK, have aggressively sought to dominate this precious global resource for national security. Oil-rich “petrostates” like Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Saudi Arabia have at times acted to protect their resources, avenge grievances, or support wars. The century-old quest for oil has seen governments overthrown, political violence, international terrorism, and wars.

Flyers' Rights vs. Business as Usual

Government has continually favored and protected the oil industry and civil aviation over the public interest — including billions in government subsidies, political expediency, lax safety and security enforcement. Antiquated laws and international treaties that harshly limit the aviation industry’s liability for travelers’ injury. Reversal of victims’ rights legislation allowing ability to file civil lawsuits against terrorist states, where some U.S. oil companies do business. Disproportionate taxes on consumers — 10% airline ticket tax, 500% higher gasoline excise taxes, both federal and state, than on aviation fuel.

Your story is our history

Give voice to your unique story about how the December 21, 1988, terrorist attack against America impacted your life. Preserve your memories and legacy by helping to create the most extensive curated digital library of personal Pan Am 103 Lockerbie stories for our Historical Archives.

Explore Further

Authors & Artists Explore More

Authors & Artists

911 Memorial Wall

Community Partners

Daily Mail Cover

Historical Archives: Curated Collections

Drew Young Participate

Legacy Story Project

Living Memorial Collage

Living Memorial

Lockerbie Then & Now

Lockerbie: A Lesson in Humanity

Arlington Cemetery Memorial Cairn

Memorial Sites & Monuments

Pan Am Employees card 31st Anniversary

Pan Am Employees

President Bill Clinton and Victim's Family at Memorial Cairn Dedication

Remembrance Programs & Publications

Syracuse University Campus

Syracuse University

Group of Young Volunteers