The Transportation Security Administration took the first steps in
dropping random gate screening of passengers who already have
cleared security checkpoints.
Pilot programs are being launched with American Airlines at Los
Angeles International Airport (Terminal 4) and with JetBlue at Long
Beach airport. The TSA will conduct all passenger identification
and enhanced security procedures at the primary checkpoint, which
will require all passengers to obtain boarding passes before going
to the checkpoint.
James Loy, TSA chief, spoke to the Aero Club of Washington last
week where he said, “Every unnecessary step eliminated from the
security process tends to lower the hassle factor.”
Before getting rid of gate screening throughout the system, Loy
said he must first ensure that the screening and security system at
the terminal checkpoint is working well enough before that point.
One key way to judge that would be if gate screeners no longer find
potentially dangerous items on passengers, Loy said.
Meanwhile, Loy also said that airports in Los Angeles and
Philadelphia will be the first sites for the testing of
transportation ID cards.
He said airport and port workers would get the IDs first and if
the cards prove successful, they could be extended to passengers.
Loy said the ID card technology would form the basis of a
registered traveler program in which passengers would be submitted
to detailed background checks.