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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Press Release

TSA to Pilot Airport Employee Screening at Seven Airports

Monday, February 11, 2008
Contact:
TSA Press Office
(571) 227-2829

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced the seven airports that will take part in airport employee screening pilots as a requirement of the Omnibus Appropriations Act passed by Congress in January 2008. TSA will pilot various screening techniques for 90 days at each airport. The legislation mandates 100 percent employee screening be evaluated at three airports and alternative employee screening at four other airports.

The seven airports are Boston's Logan International, Denver International, Jacksonville (Fla.) International, Kansas City (Mo.) International, Eugene (Ore.), Southwest Oregon Regional (North Bend, Ore.) and Craven Regional (New Bern, N.C.). TSA worked closely with airport stakeholder groups to develop the program and criteria for airport participation. More than 100 airports expressed interest in participating in the pilots scheduled to begin in May. Airports were selected, in part, to ensure that those of different sizes are represented.

Pilot

Locations

Length

100 Percent  Perimeter Screening

  • 100 percent employee and vehicle screening at airport perimeter entrances
  • Use of biometric access control
  • Boston’s Logan

 

90 days

100 Percent Checkpoint Screening

  • 100 percent physical employee screening from the public area to the secure area (known as SIDA)

(This screening may occur at existing checkpoints or at ones set up specifically for the pilot.)

  • Jacksonville
  • Craven Regional

Enhanced Security Screening

  • Random screening
  • Behavior detection programs
  • Employee security awareness training
  • Deployment of portable screening equipment 
  • Use of biometric access control  (Denver only)
  • Denver
  • Kansas City
  • Eugene
  • Southwest Oregon Regional

"These pilots will give us important information as we evaluate the best way to secure the operations side of the airport," said Kip Hawley, TSA administrator. "We appreciate the support of Congress and our security partners at the airports and look forward to working with them to implement our findings."

Use of multiple security measures will enable TSA to evaluate the most effective manner of screening airport employees. Airport employees and other employees including concession workers who have access to secure areas of the airports will be screened before they can enter those areas.

TSA currently deploys a layered approach to airport employee security that includes random and roving screening, checkpoint screening for certain populations and “surge" inspections. Random screening ensures that at any time airport employees may encounter security on the airport grounds. In addition, TSA has made strides in improving the airport employee badging process. TSA requires all badged airport employees to have a clear security threat assessment before a badge can be issued and audits are underway at airport badging offices across the country to verify adherence to this measure.

The Omnibus Appropriations Act provided up to $15 million for these employee screening programs. TSA is required to report to Congress before Sept. 1, 2008 on the cost and effectiveness of the pilot programs at each airport.

For more information about TSA visit our Web site at www.tsa.gov. To provide feedback on this or other security issues visit TSA's blog at www.tsa.gov/blog.

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