Aviation security officials will begin enhanced screening measures of passengers' electronics at US airports, the Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday.
Travelers must remove electronics larger than a mobile phone from their carry-on bags and "place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years. This simple step helps TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image," the TSA announced amid growing fears that electronic devices can pose as homemade bombs.
"Whether you’re flying to, from, or within the United States, TSA is committed to raising the baseline for aviation security by strengthening the overall security of our commercial aviation network to keep flying as a safe option for everyone," TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia said. "It's crucial for TSA to always improve and modify safety screening procedures to remain forward of evolving threats and maintain passengers protected. By separating private digital gadgets reminiscent of laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld recreation consoles for screening, TSA officers can extra intently concentrate on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats."
Some passengers are exempt
However the brand new guidelines do not apply to everyone. The TSA was fast to level out that the revised safety measures don't apply to passengers enrolled in the TSA Precheck program.
The event comes amid the heightened scrutiny of electronics coming into the US on worldwide flights, largely on Center Japanese airways. In March, US aviation safety officers barred electronics bigger than cellphones in carry-on luggage of direct flights to the US from 9 airways at 10 airports abroad.
Furthermore, the brand new home screening strategies come days after the US Authorities Accountability Workplace stated in a brand new report that the TSA "doesn't have legitimate proof" supporting the majority of its strategies to determine behavioral threats to aviation safety.
The GAO report is consistent with an American Civil Liberties Union study, based mostly on a Freedom of Info Act request and launched in February, that confirmed little scientific help for the TSA's protocol to weed out terrorists based mostly on their conduct at airports.
Final yr, taxpayers spent about $186 million to deploy 2,393 officers to mix in at 87 airports to assist with screening and determine attainable terrorists. The GAO report stated there was little science behind the way it singled out criminals.
"TSA doesn't have legitimate proof that the majority of its indicators in its revised record of behavioral indicators can be utilized to determine people who might pose a menace to aviation safety," in accordance with the GAO report. Of the TSA's 36 behavioral indicators to determine threats, simply eight of them have been supported by science, the report stated. The report stated that of the 178 sources TSA used to justify its program, solely three have been deemed legitimate by the GAO.
In the meantime, the TSA stated that the brand new electronics screening measures are already in place at 10 airports and that this system is predicted to roll out nationwide within the coming weeks and months.