WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) marked 16 years of safeguarding and protecting the nation’s citizens and transportation systems. Created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, TSA continues to evolve and become more agile, dynamic, and risk-based to address vulnerabilities and prevent future attacks, allowing more than two million travelers daily to get to their destinations safe and sound.
Steps taken this year to strengthen security included mandating new security measures for international last-point of departure flights bound for the U.S. and new domestic screening procedures for carry-on baggage at airports nationwide.
“TSA is working aggressively to raise the baseline for aviation security worldwide because aviation remains a high value target for terrorists,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “By strengthening the overall security of our commercial aviation network, we are doing our very best to keep flying a secure travel option for everyone.”
In late June, former DHS Secretary John Kelly required new security measures for nearly 280 airports in more than 100 countries. TSA also announced stronger domestic screening procedures for carry-on items that require travelers in standard lanes to place all personal electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening. TSA is now rolling out these new procedures at airports around the country and will continue to do so in the coming weeks and months.
“The majority of our employees – our dedicated transportation security officers – have taken an oath along with others who tirelessly serve to carry out a very critical and collective security role at airports,” said Pekoske.
In addition, through its Innovation Task Force, TSA will continue to develop and explore new technologies like biometrics, and computed tomography (3D X-ray), to shape the future of transportation security. In the past year, TSA has opened approximately 100 automated screening lanes, which allow travelers to move swiftly and efficiently through the checkpoint while enhancing security. Intelligence analysis and vetting is yet another critical piece of TSA’s risk-based approach that is vital to making informed security decisions that protect the traveling public. Federal Air Marshals and Federal Flight Desk Officers provide a final measure of protection for airline passengers and crew against the risk of criminal and terrorist violence.
“The threat of terrorism today is as real as it was 16 years ago and there will be more attempts targeting transportation. By working closely with industry, airports, airlines, and partners around the world, we can continue to focus on innovation and security measures that will protect the homeland and others worldwide,” said Pekoske.