TSA suspends 30-minute rule for Reagan National Airport

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National Press Release
Thursday, July 14, 2005

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is suspending the section of a Security Directive that has required all passengers flying into and out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to be seated for 30 minutes after departure or before arrival. The rule will be suspended as of 6 p.m. on Friday, July 15.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced the 30-minute rule would be suspended when he unveiled a broad reorganization of the department Wednesday.

Kenneth Kasprisin, Acting Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for TSA, said, "Our efforts along with the cooperation of commercial airlines have brought us to the point where this rule is no longer needed. We are confident in our systematic layered approach to airline security."

While the rule was valuable when applied following the 9/11 attacks, TSA's security web is far more sophisticated today and better prepared to handle security threats from passengers. Significantly enhanced layers of security range from hardened cockpit doors to advanced screening procedures and air marshals on flights.