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The TSA has announced that it will be implementing new screening procedures for electronic devices on domestic flights. We can't say we're surprised by this since the Department of Homeland Security DHS announced new security measures on all flights to the US nearly a month ago.
The New Procedures
The new procedures will treat all electronic devices larger than a cell phone in the same way that laptops are treated now. Per the TSA website
“TSA officers will begin to ask travelers to remove electronics larger than a cell 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 reasoning for implementing the new procedure was summed up by Huban A. Gowadia, TSA Acting Administrator
“It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers’ safe. By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats.”
The new procedures are already in place at 10 major airports in the US with the enhanced screening system being rolled out across the nation in the following few weeks. The 10 airports with the new procedures are as follows:
- Boise Airport (BOI)
- Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB)
- Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
- McCarran International Airport (LAS)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
TSA Precheck Reprieve
Luckily those who are enrolled in the TSA Precheck program are exempt from the enhanced screening procedures when using TSA Precheck lanes. Even after the new screening procedures are in place, TSA Precheck enrolled passengers still benefit from the following:
- 3-1-1 liquid rule
- Can keep their shoes on
- Belts, light outerwear, can be kept on
- Laptops, electronics do not need to be removed
Anything that increases aviation security should be welcomed; the new procedure will hopefully make everyone safer while flying. The TSA acknowledges that the new security measures will allow them to focus more on passengers who present a higher safety risk. Unfortunately, with the new procedures and possible increased delays, never has been expedited security more valuable. While you can just go through the process of applying to one of the various programs, it does cost money. However, there are several ways by which you can enroll in expedited security programs for no out of pocket cost.
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