New TSA Screening Program: Agency Working to Enhance Pre-Flight Screening Practices

Posted Jul 14th 2011 03:00 PMUpdated Jul 14th 2011 03:01 PM


New TSA Screening Program: TSA Working to Enhance Pre-Flight Screening Practices

AP File

The Transportation Security Administration announced Thursday a pilot program to enhance the agency's pre-flight screening capabilities and expedite screening for trusted travelers.

"These improvements will enable our officers to focus their efforts on higher risk areas," TSA Administrator John Pistole said in the press release. "Enhancing identity-based screening is another common sense step in the right direction as we continue to strengthen overall security, and improve the passenger experience whenever possible."

The initiative, which is set to begin in the fall, will call upon partnerships with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. air carriers to test enhancements to pre-flight, identity-based screening procedures.

Those who can participate include certain frequent fliers and certain members of the Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entry, SENTRI and NEXUS that are American citizens. Participants could qualify for expedited screening at select U.S. airports.

That applies to: Trusted Travelers and Delta Air Lines frequent fliers taking a Delta flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County and Trusted Travelers and American Airlines frequent fliers taking an American flight at Miami International and Dallas Fort Worth International.

It is anticipated that between 5,000 and 8,000 travelers will take part in the free, voluntary trial, said the Associated Press.

Plans are in the works to expand the program to other airports and include carriers United Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines.

However, Pistole does not want passengers to forget there are many layers to airport security. He told the media that the TSA will keep up with "random and unpredictable" security measures and that other efforts include "intelligence gathering and analysis, explosive-detection canine teams, federal air marshals, closed-circuit television monitoring and behavior detection officers," according to the release.

This new effort comes at a time when it seems the TSA just can't get a break.

It seems that not a day goes by without someone making news for speaking and acting out against what they see as unfair and invasive practices by the TSA. Former MTV-VJ Susie Castillo took to the internet to vent about not wanting to be radiated on by screening machines. A Tennessee mom was cuffed and thrown in jail for protesting the TSA's screening of her daughter this week. And, there was that Texas bill banning invasive patdowns that was shot down.

But, not everyone thinks the TSA's procedures are wrong. Whoopi Goldberg called TSA patdowns necessary.

Of course, Pistole continues to defend his agency's efforts, though he has also said the TSA would work to make patdowns less invasive and that there would be no more private screeners.

Filed Under: Air Travel, News

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This "trusted traveler" program creates a second class of "non-trusted citizen" it flys in face of the Declaration of Independence "all men are created equal". Also equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws". This will morf into a national biometric ID card no-fly, no-buy, no-job this is worse than the groping.
All to avoid Fourth Amendment search issues created by the patdown and electronic strip search scanner radiation. People have BASIC right to travel that predates All governments and self defense to keep germ covered hands off and protect his/her DNA from the ravages of radiation.

July 15 2011 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nope - wrong answer. Still does not adequately address medical metal. Freedom to Travel USA is an organization dedicated to regaining freedoms taken away from us by the TSA. We believe that suspicionless unwanted touching should not be a condition of travel. We believe that being subject to the equivalent of Peeping Toms without cause should not be a condition of travel. We believe that exposing ourselves to radiation, however small, should not be a condition of travel. We believe that merely the presence of medical metal, in and of itself, should not constitute "probable cause."

July 15 2011 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sure. TSA has been saying this since 2004 and it hasn't happened yet. In January Pistole said that the scanners would have privacy software installed by April, that hasn't happened yet either. Every time Pistole and TSA say anything, they apparently can't help but lie.
And now they limit this only to those fliers who are elite status on American and Delta and are "invited"? This is a flagrant violation of the Commerce clause and provides a competitive advantage to these airlines and harming the rest.
This is the most deceitful and corrupt agency in US history and needs to be investigated and ultimately disbanded. Return airport security to FAA where it belongs, not with these misfits and pathological liars.

July 14 2011 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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