The Transportation Security Administration might forgo passenger security screening at more than 150 small- and medium-sized airports with airplanes that seat 60 passengers or fewer.
The TSA proposal would allow passengers traveling from a smaller airport to forgo baggage and personal screening until they arrived at a larger airport for a connecting flight, according to documents from June and July that were obtained and reviewed by CNN. Currently, TSA requires that all passengers and luggage be screened at any airport before flights, but the new proposal would allow thousands of passengers to go unchecked.
This change marks the biggest change to airport security in America since the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 and could save the agency $115 million annually, funds they determined can be used to beef up security at larger airports. (RELATED: TSA Stands By Monitoring Program For Those Deemed A ‘Unique Passenger’)
This would amount to a “small (non-zero) undesirable increase in risk related to additional adversary opportunity,” the proposal reads.
Although the working group of 20 TSA officials who weighed the benefits and risks of the security changes believes small aircrafts would not be an “attractive” target to terrorists because there aren’t as many passengers onboard, some still worry that mitigated security provides unnecessary safety and economic risks for Americans.
The proposal is also in opposition to the Trump administration’s efforts to heighten airplane security, including banning laptops from carry-on baggage at nearly 280 airports in more than 100 countries in June 2017.
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