Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced plans to start new domestic screening procedures in the next few weeks for carry-on luggage at airports nationwide where “passengers traveling through every U.S. airport will be required to put all electronic devices larger than a cellphone in a separate bin during security screening,” according to a national press release from the TSA.
The new screening procedures announced by the TSA are in response to the possibility that terrorists may be able to hide explosives in electronic devices. Following extensive testing and successful pilots at 10 airports, the TSA plans to expand these measures to all U.S. airports during the weeks and months ahead. The screening procedures in standard lanes are already in place at the following 10 U.S. airports:
- Boise Airport (BOI)
- Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB)
- Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
- McCarran International Airport (LAS)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
In standard screening lanes, TSA officers will be stationed in front of the checkpoint X-ray machines to guide passengers through the screening process. There are no changes to what travelers can bring through the checkpoint. The stronger security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA Pre✓® who are using TSA Pre✓® lanes that are now available at 200 airports nationwide.
Due to an increased threat to aviation security, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly announced in late June new security requirements for nearly 280 airports in more than 100 countries. In an effort to raise the baseline for aviation security worldwide, TSA continues to work closely with airports and airlines to enhance security measures and stay ahead of the evolving threat.
As new procedures are phased in, TSA officers will begin to ask travelers to remove electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin with nothing on top or below just like laptops are screened. The TSA press release is available at www.tsa.gov/news/releases/2017/07/26/tsa-raising-aviation-security-baseline-stronger-domestic-security-measures.
As reported by ESR News in February 2017, the House Homeland Security Committee Majority Staff issued a report entitled ‘America’s Airports: The Threat From Within’ that examined employee screening at the approximately 450 airports in the U.S. and found that “much more needs to be done to improve the state of access controls and mitigate the insider threat facing America’s aviation sector.”
According to the report: Approximately 900,000 people work at these airports, and many are able to bypass traditional screening requirements that travelers visiting the airports must endure. While the overwhelming majority of these airport workers take the inherent responsibility seriously, there are increasing concerns that insider threats to aviation security are on the rise.
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