In a new press release, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is trialling new screening procedures at selected United States airports. This may mean additional work for passengers travelling from these airports but may not increase time spent due to better screening efficiencies.
Transportation Security Administration
“Over the past year, TSA has been adjusting screening procedures at select U.S. airports on a trial basis in an effort to improve screener performance at the checkpoint. There are no changes to what is allowed in carry-on bags. Travelers at select test locations may be asked to place certain electronics and other items in a separate bin for screening in an effort to de-clutter baggage. TSA will evaluate the results at these test locations to determine if any future checkpoint procedures should be altered. As we have said time and again, TSA continuously enhances and adjusts security screening procedures, both seen and unseen, to maintain the highest levels of security.”
The airports selected for the enhanced procedures include:
[table id=20 /]
This news is nothing new to four of the airports as they have been in the test trials since 2016. For the time being, the change will only apply passengers in standard security lanes. Those who are eligible to use TSA Pre✓ lanes will not be affected but will be suggested to a new identification verification procedure.
What Does It Mean To Passengers?
For passengers using standard security lanes, they will be asked at random security checkpoints to place various electronic devices bigger than cell phones and other items such as food into a separate bin for additional screening by the X-ray machines. Additional random swipe of these items may be conducted for chemical analysis.
The TSA will also test a machine that will verify passengers’ IDs rather than have an officer manually study passports and driver’s licenses. Selected TSA Pre✓ passengers will walk up to a machine, hand their ID to an officer for code scans to match them to airlines’ passenger lists. This will eliminate boarding passes checks. The machines will be tested in the TSA Pre✓ lane at four airports beginning this week.
About TSA Pre✓
For travellers interested in TSA Pre✓. It is an expedited screening program that makes risk assessments about passengers prior to their arrival at an airport checkpoint. TSA Pre✓ enhances aviation security and provides a better travel experience. The program has expanded to more than 180 airports across the US and millions of passengers have enjoyed the benefits of this program since its inception. TSA Pre✓ is a component of TSA’s intelligence-driven, risk-based security approach used to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way (per TSA’s website). Eligible airports and airports can be found here and here.
Eligible TSA Pre✓ travelers include:
- U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents enrolled in TSA Pre✓ (US$85 – valid for five years).
- Members of Global Entry.
- U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who are members of SENTRI.
- U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS.
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces including those serving in the National Guard and reserves as well as government employees from select agencies.
- Cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Air Force Academy and Merchant Marine Academy.
- Passengers 12 and younger traveling with an eligible passenger.
- Passengers who are selected using existing Secure Flight system requirements while traveling on participating airlines.
Comment below on your experience with the new enhanced security screening.