by Michele McPhee Posted Mar 21st 2011 03:00 PM
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is soliciting comments about a planned program that would cut down on controversial pat-downs and full-body scanner searches at airports and instead rely on an “intelligence” system that focuses on people who have been identified as a threat.
The move would eventually allow some frequent fliers to obtain trusted status similar to what’s been granted pilots, who pushed for faster security checks and also expressed concern about being exposed to radiation at the body scanner machines. Now pilots traveling in uniform on airline business for a U.S. carrier have a streamlined process for security screening.
The TSA’s official Blogger Bob is asking for suggestions and comments about the proposed “identity-based” system as it would apply to the general public.
“Physical screening will likely never go away completely, but the idea of adding identity-based security makes good sense and it’s an idea we’re actively exploring. So, we’d like to hear your suggestions and ideas,” Bob says.
The blog comes weeks after TSA Administrator, and former FBI agent, John Pistole told a group of American Bar Association lawyers that the agency is attempting to move more into intelligence on passengers who pose a threat rather than making air travel unpleasant for all of the 628 million people who are screened in the U.S. each year.
“At the airport, numerous layers of security are in place. There are behavior detection officers, explosive-detection canines and closed-circuit video surveillance. And, of course, we do have the physical screening at the checkpoint,” Pistole told the assembled lawyers in his speech.
“We want to focus our limited resources on higher-risk passengers, while speeding and enhancing the passenger experience at the airport,” Pistole said in his remarks.
So, where do we go from here? Actually using INTELLIGENCE to identify a threat is so unlike the TSA it boggles the mind. Of course there are a few problems.
For example, this “streamlined process” of the working pilot in uniform. Trust me, it ain’t so. About the only thing we, usually, don’t have to do is take our shoes off any more. Outside of that, even though we ALREADY HAVE CONTROL of the aircraft, we go through the same humiliations you do, much more than you do, just for the privilege of getting to our office. So, I’m not holding my breathe.
But, it begs the bigger question; if, perhaps, most of the 628 million people screened at airports each year aren’t threats, why is General Aviation? When there are three separate and independen studies that claim GA isn’t a threat, why are we living with LASP, SD-8G, Operation Playbook, etc.
Why does Senator Rockefeller demand that Administrator Pistole do something about the fact we can walk to our airplane without feeling the pain he feels getting searched; apparently he won’t feel this much longer (of course, you people in WV could stop voting for him) and then will he back off? Somehow I doubt it.
Keep writing those letters, sending those faxes, making those phone calls. Take an electee flying, take a reporter flying.
I’ll withhold judgement for now, but this might be a good thing. Cops catch bad guys, not straining the entire population through a sieve.
Maybe Chertoff just made enough money by now…Posted: March 22nd, 2011 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized