Friday, September 17, 2004

Feds tighten airport screening


Search for bombs will add to delays

By James Pilcher
Enquirer staff writer

HEBRON - Going through airport security any time soon? You could be getting a little more attention than normal, while wearing fewer clothes than before.

Thursday, the federal Transportation Security Administration said it was tightening screening for bombs at passenger checkpoints with the following measures:

• Giving workers more leeway to conduct "secondary screening" on passengers that present an "irregularity" in their clothes or behavior.

• Requiring anyone wearing a jacket or coat, including warm-up jackets or suit and sport coats, to send them through the X-ray machine before going through the metal detector.

• Allowing federal screeners to use physical pat downs more often during secondary screenings.

• Requiring all carry-on bags belonging to those selected for such extra screening to be checked electronically for explosives.

The new measures will go into effect at the end of next week.

The agency is expanding the use of explosive trace-detection machines on people as well as carry-on bags.

TSA spokesman Darrin Kayser said the operation at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport would have enough machines by next week to handle the extra screening at checkpoints.

E-mail jpilcher@enquirer.com




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