After an audit by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general determined that TSA workers had missed handguns and other weapons during their passenger screenings, major changes are being implemented in the way passengers are screened at airports.
Going through airport security will take longer and the new pat-down searches will be “more rigorous,” according to TSA officials.
Bloomberg quoted an announcement from officials at the Denver International Airport saying that the physical searches “will be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before.”
In the past, TSA workers had five different types of physical pat-down options they could use to screen passengers. Now, there is only a single pat-down procedure, described as a more comprehensive physical screening.
All passengers are not chosen to go through the pat-down search after they go through the scanner machine, but for those who are pulled aside, it will cause delays in getting through security.
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The TSA pat-downs are always conducted by an officer of the same sex as the passenger, and passengers do have the option of going to a private area with a witness or enduring the procedure in public view.
It has also been reported that the TSA PreCheck program is undergoing some changes. ABC News was told by TSA spokesman Michael England, “In the future, we intend to only have enrolled or pre-vetted passengers or those screened by K-9s in the expedited screening lanes.”
Over 12 million people have enrolled in the PreCheck program, which allows pre-vetted passengers to go through faster screening lanes.
In the past, many travelers have been lucky enough to see this option stamped on their boarding passes, but this privilege will now only be available to those who have signed up for it, ABC reported.
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