TSA mulls 'trusted traveler' program
Transportation Security Administration head John S. Pistole is considering the concept of a "trusted traveler" program that would speed passengers willing to provide detailed advance personal information through airport security checkpoints.
"Under a trusted traveler program they might be able to get a different type of screening," Pistole told a House subcommittee on transportation security on Tuesday.
Pistole said he was evaluating a shift toward a more risk-based system rather than a "one-size fits all approach."
"Right now we're not there yet. Right now we use a one-size fits all approach," Pistole said. "I'm committed to doing something this year that would demonstrate a different paradigm for passenger screening."
The TSA has come under criticism in recent months for use of revealing full-body scanners and vigorous pat-downs for those who refuse them or appear to be carrying suspicious items. The agency began testing new software last week that uses a generic cookie-cutter outline rather than the more revealing body image.
Many other countries use a more risk-based approach based on the visual observations of screeners trained in behavioral patterns and on pre-flight data collected about passengers. When that approach raises alarms the passengers are singled out for further scrutiny.
Meanwhile, Pistole told the committee that would fire any workers who strike or purposely slow their work over disagreements with the agency's labor policies. Ed O'Keefe has more on that issue on the Federal Eye blog.
What do you think? Would you participate in a "trusted traveler program"? Post a comment below.
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