TSA - How it all started.
TSA - How it all started and why it will not go away. The humble beginnings of airport security were merely the installation of security personal that prevented airline hijacking. Since that time, this security has evolved into controlling the trafficking of 3.4 OZ liquid items and making sure your nunchucks are checked in. TSA is taking every step possible to provide more effective and efficient security operations at America’s airports. The first aircraft hijack occurred in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until the late 1950s that airport security screening began. Despite warnings by professionals, threats where not taken seriously enough to install modern measures of prevention. In 1969, there was a record breaking 82 high jacks that occurred. The first terrorist attack took place on a Cuba flight, killing 73 people. Airport began to institute more prominent security checks involving metal detectors, x-ray machines and potential checks by private personnel hired as security officials. In the 80’s there was also the booming drug wars which brought in the use of drug sniffing dogs and other drug detection systems. After September 11 – and subsequent terrorist attacks, all knives where prohibited. Under the new screening standards, even small Victorinox Swiss Army Pocket Knives left in carry-ons where confiscated, and even nail clippers were confiscated in the beginning until they were considered non-threatening and could be carried aboard. Due to Richard Reid’s attempt to destroy a passenger line from Paris to Miami using shoes packed with explosives, shoes are also now scanned separately. ALL JACKETS MUST BE REMOVED AND X-RAYED – New regulations require that passenger’s jackets without metal in them still had to be removed and x-rayed and passengers selected for secondary screening could be patted down. Visitors began to be banned from passing security. There is a no-fly list intended to prevent suspicious people from flying, but different people have the same name, so some high-profile individuals, including Senator Ted Kennedy, have found themselves blocked from boarding an aircraft at times. In May 2005, a family was wrongfully removed from an overseas flight bound from Boston in Bangor, Maine, as one of the group’s name turned up on a no-fly list. It was later confirmed that the name was erroneously identified. A plot to destroy airplanes using a combination of liquids was disrupted in 2006, prompting a ban on liquid over a certain volume. The birth of the 3-1-1 rule began. Passengers cannot carry liquids passing through security screening checkpoints; this includes drinks, breast milk and even snow globes. In Xmas 2009, a bomb was smuggled on plane in underpants – Umar Farouk attempted underwear bombing prompted many airports to begin installing full- body scanners. Full body scanners became mandatory and then came an aggressive “Pat-Down” Policy for passengers who refuse the full-body scan. Screeners can use the front of their hands to touch passages inner thigh, buttock and breasts. People who agree to an aggressive Pat-down are worried that ionizing radiation from the X-ray could be a potential cancer risk. Americans have already spent over 60 Billion on TSA since 9/11. This has helped stop over 25,000 security breaches! We believe it was money well spent. Over 62,000 officers now work at TSA across the country to keep flights safe. Since 2010, over 700 scanners have been installed. They are used to identify people on the watch list with 89% accuracy. Officers - TSA is increasing the number of officers, so passengers can move through the checkpoints more quickly and without jeopardizing security. Dogs- TSA is adding more canine teams to help screen additional passengers and prevent the entrance of illegal substances and contraband. A dog’s nose is far more accurate than scanners at picking up nonmetallic objects and items hidden on the sides. TSA Pre-Check – TSA is expanding enrollment efforts for TSA Precheck, which provides a more streamline screening experience. Check out the full TSA Pre-Check at one of our later TSA blogs. Over 124 airports have enrolled for Pre-check and now over 400 application centers are available nationwide. So far more than a million people have enrolled and more are expected to do so in 2017. Pre-TSA is open to active duty military. If you show your CAC card when going through security at the checkpoint you will be able to pass quicker thru security. The point of this is that the scanners, the dogs, the padding, the removing shoes at the airport, the 3-1-1 rule, the handgun rules and everything we hate about the TSA is a necessary evil to avoid turning our vacation into our worst nightmare. TSA Agents are dedicated officers who put their life at risk to keep us safe. It’s not perfect, nothing is, but the alternative is dangerous and downright reckless. Next time you pass through a TSA checkpoint, know that you’re going thru a minor nuisance that is needed to keep you and your family safe when you travel. We at The Travel Experts hope this post has helped educate our readers on the whys behind TSA regulations and their origin.