January 5th, 2010 12:05 EST
The TSA Going Racist?
On Dec. 25, 2009, an individual on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 set off a device and was subdued by passengers and crew. TSA wishes to acknowledge the heroic efforts of those individuals.
As a result of this incident, TSA has worked with airline and law enforcement authorities, as well as federal, state, local, and international partners to put additional security measures in place to ensure aviation security remains strong. Passengers traveling domestically and internationally to U.S. destinations may notice additional screening measures.
The American people should continue their planned holiday travel. TSA encourages passengers to remain observant and aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior or activity to law enforcement officials.
Q: What additional security measures is TSA taking domestically?
A: TSA has a layered approach to security that allows us to surge resources as needed on a daily basis. We have the ability to quickly implement additional screening measures including explosive detection canine teams, law enforcement officers, gate screening, behavior detection and other measures both seen and unseen. Passengers should not expect to see the same thing at every airport.
Q: What additional security measures are being taken for international flights to U.S. destinations?
A: On January 3, 2009, the Transportation Security Administration issued a new security directive to all U.S. and international air carriers with inbound flights to the U.S. effective January 4, 2010. The new directive includes long-term, sustainable security measures developed in consultation with law enforcement officials and our domestic and international partners.
TSA is mandating that every individual flying into the U.S. from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening. TSA directed the increase use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for majority passengers on U.S. bound international flights.
Q: Do passengers need to do anything differently to prepare for checkpoint security procedures? Has anything changed in terms of what passengers can bring in their carry-on or checked bags?
A: At this time, security checkpoint requirements for passengers departing U.S. airports remain the same. Passengers do not need to do anything differently, but they may notice additional security measures at the airport.
Q: Should passengers plan to arrive at airports earlier than normal?
A: Passengers may want to allow additional time to get through security on international flights bound to U.S. These times may vary by airport - check in with your airport or carrier.
Q. How long will these measures remain in place?
A: TSA will continuously review these measures to ensure the highest levels of security.
Statement about the incident from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
"I am grateful to the passengers and crew aboard Northwest Flight 253 who reacted quickly and heroically to an incident that could have had tragic results. The Department of Homeland Security immediately put additional screening measures into place- for all domestic and international flights- to ensure the continued safety of the traveling public. We are also working closely with federal, state and local law enforcement on additional security measures, as well as our international partners on enhanced security at airports and on flights.
The American people should continue their planned holiday travel and, as always, be observant and aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior or activity to law enforcement officials.
Passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place. These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere. Due to the busy holiday travel season, both domestic and international travelers should allot extra time for check-in."