TSA Seeks Comment on 'Identity-Based' Screening
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is soliciting comments about a planned program that would cut down on controversial pat-downs and full-body scanner searches at airports and instead rely on an "intelligence" system that focuses on people who have been identified as a threat.
The move would eventually allow some frequent fliers to obtain trusted status similar to what's been granted pilots, who pushed for faster security checks and also expressed concern about being exposed to radiation at the body scanner machines. Now pilots traveling in uniform on airline business for a U.S. carrier have a streamlined process for security screening.
The TSA's official Blogger Bob is asking for suggestions and comments about the proposed "identity-based" system as it would apply to the general public.
"Physical screening will likely never go away completely, but the idea of adding identity-based security makes good sense and it's an idea we're actively exploring. So, we'd like to hear your suggestions and ideas,'' Bob says.
The blog comes weeks after TSA Administrator, and former FBI agent, John Pistole told a group of American Bar Association lawyers that the agency is attempting to move more into intelligence on passengers who pose a threat rather than making air travel unpleasant for all of the 628 million people who are screened in the U.S. each year.
"At the airport, numerous layers of security are in place. There are behavior detection officers, explosive-detection canines and closed-circuit video surveillance. And, of course, we do have the physical screening at the checkpoint,'' Pistole told the assembled lawyers in his speech.
"We want to focus our limited resources on higher-risk passengers, while speeding and enhancing the passenger experience at the airport,'' Pistole said in his remarks.