TSA improvements needed; passengers can speed lines

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Transportation Security Administration didn’t do well when undercover “passengers” tried to sneak disallowed items through airport screenings.

The specific results are classified, but the Department of Homeland Security found that screeners, their equipment or procedures failed more than half the time, according to an ABC report.

Asked by a reporter whether the failure rate was 80 percent, the source said: “you are in the ballpark.”

Despite the poor showing, the TSA did better than it did two years ago, according to the network’s source.

Critics such as Rep. Bill Keating complained that money that was being used for TSA was being diverted to the wall on the Mexican border.

Viper teams, for example, which use canines to secure transportation facilities, are being cut from 31 to eight, he said.

The agency vows to stay ahead “of a dynamic threat to aviation with continued investment in the workforce, enhanced procedures and new technologies,” according to TSA administrator David Pekoske.

Awaiting funding for full implementation is new scanner equipment that creates a 3D image of bags, giving screeners better ability to spot threatening items.

If you’ve flown recently, you may have noticed new, stronger screening procedures being implemented for the holiday season.

They require all travelers to put electronics larger than cell phones into bins for X-ray screening.

Once they are removed, they are placed into a bin with nothing on top or below before being screened in a way similar to that used for laptops.

That applies to electronics like Kindles, iPads and laptops.

The rules don’t apply to TSA pre-check customers.

Officials hope passengers will follow other common-sense rules to avoid long screening lines.

If you’re taking a Christmas gift, for instance, use a gift bag or wait until you arrive at your destination to wrap it.

If it’s pre-wrapped, it will have to be unwrapped for inspection, delaying your trip down the security line.

Also, remove food before the screening process.

Despite the poor grades received during the undercover inspections, the fact there have been few if any highjackings since the present system was fully implemented, indicates the TSA is having an effect.

Unfortunately, terrorists have turned to other vehicles, like trucks, to attack innocent people.

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