The Transportation Security Administration is considering waiving passenger screenings at more than 150 small to medium-sized airports in an effort save money — and funnel more funds toward security measures at major travel hubs, according to a report.
The proposal is focused on smaller airports — with planes that service 60 passengers or fewer — which officials say are less likely to be targeted by terrorists and therefore require less robust security measures.
The plan, if approved, could bring a “small (non-zero) undesirable increase in risk related to additional adversary opportunity,” internal documents from TSA show, CNN reported.
The same documents show that the plan could save $115 million annually, according to the report.
Passengers who board aircraft without being screened would go through security upon arrival at bigger airports where they make connecting flights, allowing for more efficiency in the screening process, according to the report.
Not everyone thinks the idea is a good one.
Paul Cruickshank, a CNN terrorism analyst, called it “stunning that this is even seriously being considered.”
He said Al Qaeda and ISIS still target aviation, including flights that carry fewer than 60 passengers.
“They would see that as a way to hit the headlines. They would see that as a way to inflict severe economic damage on the United States,” he said.
Another TSA official who was not authorized to discuss the matter called the proposal “so dangerous,” CNN reported.
The idea has been talked about since 2011, according to TSA officials.
A TSA working group of about 20 people estimates that about 10,000 passengers would be affected by the change.
The report did not identify which airports would lose their screening capabilities. ___
This article is written by Megan Cerullo from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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