Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Security Screening for US Airport Workers

Airport employees around the US are to face more intensive security screening from this summer.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is launching a 3-month trial which will test more rigorous security screening measures for airport staff working on airside operations.

All workers at seven airports - including Boston, Denver and Kansas City - will be subject to the new screening programme, which will vary according to the airport location.

The programme, lasting for 90 days from May to August, will affect over 53,000 airport employees.

Biometric Access Control System for Airport Employees

At Boston's Logan International Airport, airport employees will be subjected to what the TSA calls "100 Percent Perimeter Screening".

This involves each and every employee passing to airside being physically checked, and a biometric access control system being used that will electronically scan employees' fingerprints and irises against a database to verify their identity.

The biometric system will also be used at Denver Airport.

At the other five airports - Kansas City, Jacksonville, New Bern, Eugene, North Bend - the security measures will include a mix of mandatory physical screening, random spot checks using deployable screening equipment, and improvements to security awareness training programmes for airport staff. The biometric system is not going to be be used at these other airports.
Airside Operations Security

The programme, costing $15 million, was approved by Congress last year and is designed to help the TSA find the best means of improving airside operations security.

The TSA has to report back to Congress before 1st September 2008, after the trial period has ended, presenting the effectiveness of the test programmes.

Depending on the results of the programme, Congress will make recommendations about the type of airside security measures which could in future be rolled out across all US airports.

Source - Airport International's US Correspondent

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