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Airport Security Updates

TSA Announces Changes to Security Rules:
Liquid Ban Partially Lifted

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced a targeted raise in the threat level in light of the August 10, 2006 arrests in the United Kingdom relating to possible planned acts of terrorism that raised our threat level to red.

Now, on September 26, 2006 the threat level has fallen back to orange, and several of the security measures have been partially lifted and refined.

What to do you need to know for your next flight?

The current threat level is Orange or high and will not change at this time.

Travelers will be allowed to carry travel-size toiletries (3 ounce or less) that fit comfortably in ONE quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag through security checkpoints. Travelers may also bring items, including beverages, purchased in the secure, boarding area on-board the aircraft.

“After the initial, total ban, we have learned enough from the UK investigation to say with confidence that small, travel size liquids are safe to bring through security checkpoints in limited numbers,” said Assistant Secretary for TSA Kip Hawley.  “We have also taken additional security measures throughout the airport that make us comfortable allowing passengers to bring beverages and other items purchased in the secure area onboard.”


Threat Levels:

  • The U.S. threat level is raised to High, or Orange, for all commercial aviation operating in the United States, including international flights. Flights from the United States to the United Kingdom are also Orange.

Increased Aviation Screening Procedures:

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is implementing a series of security measures, some visible and some not visible, to ensure the security of the traveling public and the nation's transportation system. These include more random screening of employees, additional canine patrols, stronger air cargo security measures, more rigorous identity verification standards and deploying more trained security officers in bomb appraisal and screening by observation techniques. It is unlikely that further adjustments to the ban on liquids, gels and aerosols will be made in the near future.

TSA ban adjustments include the following:

  • Travelers will be allowed to carry travel-size toiletries (3 ounce or less) that fit comfortably in ONE quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag through security checkpoints. Exceptions: Baby formula and medicines, which must be presented for inspection at the checkpoint.
  • Travelers may also bring items, including beverages, purchased in the secure, boarding area on-board the aircraft.
  • Passengers traveling from the United Kingdom to the United States will be subject to a more extensive screening process.

These measures will be constantly evaluated and updated as circumstances warrant.

*Existing exemptions including larger amounts of required medications, baby formula and diabetic glucose treatments must be declared to security officers at the entrance of the checkpoint for screening. For additional information and travel tips, please read our information for travelers.

How every passenger can assist in security:

  • Pack lightly, without clutter to facilitate easier screening. Make all bottles airtight by squeezing air out and cappign (including hair gel, lotion, tootpaste and make-up) and pack in clear, sealed plastic bags or containers.
  • Arrive earlier than usual at the airport (some airports suggest up to three hours before departure.)
  • Cooperate with TSA personnel at checkpoints and with airline personnel at all gates.
  • Be attentive and vigilant to any suspicious activity and report it to authorities.
  • In Britain, many electronics are currently banned from carry-ons, including laptops, cell phones, PDAs and mp3 players. Should such procedures apply in the U.S., wrap your electronics in your thickest article of clothing and store in the middle layer of your suitcase for maximum protection.

For rules and regulations on specific airlines, check out ROAD & TRAVEL's Airline Rules.

For continued up-to-date information on current Homeland Security threat levels, visit www.dhs.gov, or www.cnn.com for the latest in breaking news.

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