TSA to Begin Limited Test of Modified Screening for Passengers 75 and Older
Risk-Based Security Initiative
As part of TSA's ongoing efforts to move towards a more intelligence-driven security system, enhance aviation security and improve passenger experiences at security checkpoints, the agency is testing modified screening procedures for passengers 75 and older.
These modified procedures are similar to those tested and implemented in the fall of 2011 for passengers age 12 and under. They include no longer removing shoes and light outerwear, permitting a second scan through advanced imaging technology to clear any anomalies, as well as a greater use of explosives trace detection.
Beginning yesterday, TSA is testing these measures at select security lanes at four airports:
- Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD): Security Checkpoint 3
- Denver International Airport (DEN): South Checkpoint/USA Flag Checkpoint
- Orlando International Airport (MCO): West Checkpoint
- Portland International Airport (PDX): ABC Checkpoint
These changes in protocol for passengers 75 and older could ultimately reduce - though not eliminate - pat-downs that would have otherwise been conducted to resolve anomalies. If anomalies are detected during security screening that cannot be resolved through other procedures, passengers may be required to remove their shoes to complete the screening process.
The procedures allow officers to better focus their efforts on passengers who may be more likely to pose a risk to transportation while expediting the screening process.
If proven successful, TSA will consider broader implementation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How are individuals who are 75 and older identified at the checkpoint?
A. Officers assisting passengers will make a visual assessment to determine which passengers are 75 or older and inform them of changes to the screening procedures. This process is similar to providing modified screening procedures for passengers 12 and under.
Q. Is TSA still going to do pat-downs on passengers 75 and older?
A. These new screening procedures include permitting an additional pass through advanced imaging technology to clear any anomalies, as well as the greater use of explosives trace detection. TSA anticipates these changes will further reduce - though not completely eliminate - the need for a physical pat-down for travelers 75 and older that would otherwise have been conducted to resolve anomalies.
Additionally, passengers 75 and older will now be allowed to leave their shoes and light outerwear on. However, they may be required to remove their shoes, and could still undergo a pat-down if anomalies are detected during security screening that cannot be resolved through other means.
Q. Will individuals 75 and older still go through imaging technologies?
A. Advanced imaging technology remains a screening option for all passengers able to assume and hold the AIT stance for 5 seconds. Imaging technology remains optional for all passengers. Through these new measures, passengers 75 and older are permitted an additional pass through AIT to clear any anomalies.
Q. What happens if the passenger's shoes alarm?
A. If the shoes of a passenger 75 or older alarms during screening, it will be recommended they take their shoes off on the next pass. All alarms must be resolved.
Q. Are travel companions for individuals 75 and older eligible for modified screening procedures?
A. Only individuals that meet the age requirement of 75 and older will be eligible to receive modified screening procedures. Passengers 12 and under are also allowed to leave their shoes on during screening
Q. Are procedures for passengers 75 and older who use wheelchairs changing as well?
A. Passengers 75 and older who are unable to stand for screening will receive a comparable level of screening, including explosive trace detection.
Q. How will the screening of medical devices change for passengers who are 75 and older?
A. Screening procedures for passengers with medical devices, who are 75 and older, will not change. These passengers will be afforded an additional pass through advanced imaging technology to resolve anomalies. These changes in protocol could ultimately reduce - though not eliminate - pat-downs of travelers 75 and older that would have otherwise been conducted to resolve anomalies.