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Press Release

TSA Statement on New Security Measures for International Flights to the U.S.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Today, the Transportation Security Administration issued new security directives to all United States 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.

Because effective aviation security must begin beyond our borders, and as a result of extraordinary cooperation from our global aviation partners, TSA is mandating that every individual flying into the U.S. from anywhere in the world who holds a passport issued by or is traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening. The directive also increases the use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for passengers on U.S. bound international flights.

Q: What additional security measures are being taken for international flights to U.S. destinations?
A: On January 3, 2010, 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 who holds a passport issued by or is 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. TSA's checkpoint security screening procedures for persons with disabilities and medical conditions have not changed. TSA permits prescription liquid medications and other liquids needed by persons with disabilities and medical conditions.

In addition, TSA’s current procedures for the screening of bulky clothing or headwear remain unchanged. To ensure the highest level of security, passengers wearing loose fitting or bulky clothing - including headwear - may be subject to additional screening. In instances where passengers choose not to remove bulky clothing, including headwear, our officers are trained to offer a private screening area and may conduct a pat down search to clear the individual.

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.