This is somewhat of a shocker though, according to some officials, this is not the first time it has come up. According to documents obtained by CNN, there has been a working group that has put together a proposal that would eliminate TSA screening at more than 150 smaller airports around the US.
TSA Considering Eliminating Security Screening at Over 150 Airports
This TSA proposal suggests that airports that have aircraft carrying fewer than 60 passengers. This would mean more than 150 airports that are small/medium sized would no longer have TSA security screening points
The proposal lays out that those passengers departing from such airports would then have screening at the larger airports they would connect to. This would affect 10,000 travelers who are currently screened by almost 1,300 TSA employees at these smaller airports now.
So, a passenger flying from a small regional airport to a larger one for a connecting flight would undergo the security process at that larger airport before boarding the next flight. If the passenger is simply flying to that city and leaving the airport, there would be no security check for them.
According to the report, such a move could save $115 million annually. This money could be directed to those larger airports to bring more and better security to them (which would also go to screening those passengers that would be connecting from those smaller airports).
The proposal also suggests that smaller aircraft are not as “attractive” of a target as larger ones so these airports may not need the security screening that we have been used to for almost 20 years now.
As pointed out in the CNN article, two of the 9/11 hijackers used the Portland, Maine airport because it was smaller and the security was not as tight as the airports (like Boston) where they boarded the flights they took control of.
That means that smaller airports are definitely of interest to the people that want to wreak havoc in our nation and in the aviation space. If anything, the security should be even tighter since the TSA right now really does not do that good of a job at being the first line of aviation defense.
Read the CNN article to get a complete look at some of the interviews and what the documents represent. Hopefully this article will create enough of a public outcry that this would never be implemented. Personally, out of all my travels, I think Israel does a fantastic job with their security staff being professional and knowing exactly what they are doing instead of many TSA agents who simply seem to be going through the motions of security.
Featured image By Arina P Habich, Courtesy of Shutterstoc