with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Airport Security Hassles Reduced?

According to a recent report on CNN, Airline screening hassles may be cut. It seems that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be meeting to discuss how to “reduce checkpoint hassles for the nation’s 2 million passengers”. Among the decisions and topics will be changing the bans on carrying some items on the airplane including razorblades and small knives, and possibly include limits on patdown searches.

According to the article:

An initial set of staff recommendations drafted August 5 also proposes that passengers no longer have to routinely remove their shoes during security checks. Instead, only passengers who set off metal detectors, are flagged by a computer screening system or look “reasonably suspicious” would be asked to do so, a TSA official said Saturday.

Any of the changes proposed by the staff, which also would allow scissors, ice picks and bows and arrows on flights, would require Hawley’s approval, this official said, requesting anonymity because there has been no final decision….The August 5 memo recommends reducing patdowns by giving screeners the discretion not to search those wearing tight-fitting clothes. It also suggests exempting several categories of passengers from screening, including federal judges, members of Congress, Cabinet members, state governors, high-ranking military officers and those with high-level security clearances.

The TSA hopes to make airport security checkpoints more “user friendly” and to change the growing negative attitude of passengers. While I’m sure the issues of scissors, ice picks and bows and arrows on airplanes is of serious concern to all travelers, I’d still like to know what is being done to train checkpoint security guards on psychological profiling, information distribution of indenties of known terrorists, and other communication and reaction issues. I think that would go a long way to reassuring the public. After the first few years of seeing military type guards at the checkpoints, I’m seeing a lot of out of shape employees tired of their jobs, oblivious to each person passing through by sheer volume. Five years of the interogation involved with passing through Israel airplanes and airports, the US still has a long way to go to find the happy medium between security and “friendly service”. Still, it’s a start.

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