TSA ramps up employee screening at Houston airports

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Local Press Release
Friday, June 8, 2007

HOUSTON - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today surge operations at Houston's airports that augment employee security measures at several other airports. The surge operations, launched yesterday, are underway at both George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports.

Over 150 local transportation security officers, aviation security inspectors, federal air marshals and other personnel have deployed to execute the surge operations.

"The ability to randomly surge at airports across the nation illustrates TSA's ongoing ability to implement random, unpredictable security enhancements anywhere and at any time," said TSA Administrator Kip Hawley. "These additional deployed TSA assets complement pre-existing employee screening efforts that occur on a daily basis."

Surge operations implement several security enhancements directly focusing on employees working in airport secure areas. These include:

  • A sharp increase in random, unpredictable screening of employees in secure areas;
  • severely limiting secure area access during non-business hours and auditing door access during those hours for suspicious activity;
  • deploying integrated teams of federal air marshals, K-9 teams, law enforcement officers and transportation security officers to areas throughout the airport;
  • conducting random screening of employees and passengers at boarding gates, including behavior detection officers; and
  • TSOs performing random inspections of aircraft.

TSA will conduct additional surge activities in the coming months on an unannounced basis. TSA has developed a longer-term, sustainable plan with our airport and airline partners not only for the Houston area, but for the entire U.S. aviation system.

For additional information on TSA programs please visit our Web site at www.tsa.gov.