The TSA is considering a plan to focus on the larger airports, but security experts say that there are errors in the proposal.
The TSA has seen the end of the screening of passengers at smaller airports across the country to focus on security at the largest airports.
It is unclear how advanced the proposal is, and whether it will ever be fixed.
Still, aviation-security experts reacted with alarm, saying that the dropping of the safety at smaller airports to flights of an attractive target for terrorists.
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CNN reported that the Transportation Security Administration is considering to put an end to passenger screening at approximately 150 airports that serve aircraft with 60 seats or less. The report cited a senior agency officials and internal documents of June and July.
In a statement, TSA said no decision has been made. The agency said that any changes “to better allocate limited taxpayer resources” should be preceded by “a risk assessment to ensure the safety of aviation.”
The TSA says that they do not make decisions, or to push forward in the proposal.
Security experts say that while the passengers would still have to be screened before you board the largest jets — the types used in the September 2001 attacks that brought down the World Trade Center in New York and damaged the Pentagon — terrorists can still target regional aircraft in small airports. These flights are still dozens of passengers.
“I find that incredible, not at all,” said Glen Winn, who has more than 30 years in airline security, retiring as United’s chief security officer, and now teaches the security of the University of Southern California.
Terrorists, he said, “will just start their plans immediately.”
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Jeffrey Price, an aviation security expert at Metropolitan State University of Denver, said TSA could save money by shutting down screening at smaller airports. The agency may take screeners that much time on their hands between flights at small airports and move them to a larger, where there is more passengers.
Price said a smaller aircraft that would go unprotected and are lighter and carry less fuel, making them less dangerous as weapons in the hands of terrorists as crashed four airplanes on Sept. 11, 2001.
But, Price added, a crash with a smaller regional jet can still kill dozens of passengers. He said terrorists can also fly from a unsecured small airport and attack after reaching a larger airport, where they are already beyond the current ring of security checkpoints in the terminals.
End screening at smaller airports would be a reverse trend of enhanced security measures in the framework of the Trump administration. Since last year, the TSA has the introduction of new procedures to help screeners examine laptops and tablets contain bombs.
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TSA has backed away from controversial plans for. In 2013, the agency had a plan to let passengers in small knives — something that was allowed before 9/11 — after the outrage of the public and flight attendants.
Broaching the idea of reducing the screening may also help TSA to argue for more money from Congress.
The TSA said in its statement that as part of the annual budget process, will be asked to have the discussion about “potential operational efficiency — this year is no different.”