Updates in Airport Security Procedures
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is committed to constantly reviewing
screening procedures to ensure their measures are targeted to counter potential
In 2005, TSA made changes to passenger screening procedures to strengthen
their ability to detect explosives at the security checkpoints. One significant
enhancement, which has generated discussion and concerns among some passengers,
involves more frequent use of pat-down searches. TSA takes each situation seriously
and has procedures in place to address any and all concerns.
In 2004, TSA issued new guidelines for screeners. Patting down the chest
area will now only be conducted if it alarms a Hand-held Metal Detector or there
is an irregularity or anomaly in the person's clothing outline. Unless these criteria
are met, screeners will only pat down a line below the chest area to the waist,
followed by a pat-down of the individual's entire back.
TSA screeners are trained to conduct inspections in a respectful manner, while maintaining a high level of security.
is more information on the new procedures:
better allow TSA to identify explosives, the agency implemented new passenger
screening procedures that, in addition to expanded use of pat-down searches, increases
the use of explosives trace detector machines and provides screeners more latitude
to refer individuals for additional screening prcedures.
changes are in line with a recent recommendation of the 9/11 Commission Report
that all passengers selected for additional screening be checked for explosives.
screening, including pat-down searches, may be required of passengers based on
visual observations by screeners, even if an audible alarm has not gone off.
are also required to communicate their actions to the passenger prior to conducting
Security Directors are responsible for ensuring that screeners
are properly trained in the new protocols at local levels. TSA Headquarters is closely involved
in ensuring that such training has taken place. The training regimen
is available to screeners on TSAs Online Learning Center.
policy is that screeners are to use the back of the hand when screening sensitive
body areas, which include the breasts (females only), genitals, and buttocks.
non-sensitive areas, including other parts of the torso, screeners are required
to use the front of the hand.
are required to offer private screening to passengers who are subject to additional
screening. If you are not offered private screening you have the option to request
a private screening location.
of the same gender as the passenger will conduct the additional screening.
are required to communicate their actions to the passenger prior to conducting
Transportation Security Administration)