Sunday, March 19, 2017

Airport passengers in US to be subject to a more rigorous "pat down".

A 2015 audit found that screenings at airports showed some safety vulnerability. As a result, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has decided to use a more rigorous and through screening during "pat-downs"

The new screening procedure will include "more intimate contact" than previously. The procedure will also apply to pilots and flight attendants. The TSA noted that there used to be five search options when a pat-down was being conducted. The 2015 audit revealed that small handguns and others weapons passed screening without being discovered.
One day last week security screeners found 21 firearms in carry-on bags more than ever before. The previous record was 18 set in 2014. During the whole week the TSA confiscated 79 firearms nationwide of which 68 were loaded.
TSA spokesperson Bruce Anderson said that people patted-down previously will find that the new measures are "more involved". The new measures are not expected to increase airport delays, except for the person being patted down. About two million people go through TSA screening every day.
The former five options for screening are now eliminated and there is now just one process. Denver International Airport notified employees that the "more rigorous" searches "will be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before." There have already been complaints of excessive intimate contact, including an article for CNN last December by Angela Rye, a CNN commentator. A video on the search is appended. The new procedures had been tested in smaller airports and are being phased in within the next two weeks. The TSA does not track the number of those subject to "pat-downs". Anyone who refuses to go through the screening machines is subject to a pat-down. A "managed inclusion" program that allowed some everyday travelers to use Pre-Check lanes to speed things up during peak times has also been eliminated. Pat-downs are always conducted by officers of the same sex as the person being patted-down. You can request a private area for the pat-down if you desire and even have a witness present. Alternatively, you can demand that the pat-down be held in public view.
The TSA conducts random searches of pilots and crew members. The number of such checks will remain the same. However, airport employees may face more random checks. TSA officials did not immediately answer an inquiry as to whether the new protocol will allow touching of passengers' genital area as happened to Angela Rye.

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