Michael Trout - Jan 9, 2007

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has strengthened the security measures in 2007. It concerns business travellers and import-exporters. The main reason was the experience of British authorities with unsuccessful terrorist attacks in August 2006. Security officers were trained to deal with liquids that could be in fact explosives. The TSA made the officers to search all risk cargos and packages. They also brought in more canine teams to detect explosives and also increased the number of cargo inspectors. The airlines have also problem with loosing or mishandling the baggage.



There were some 700,000 name-based security inspections of port workers.



The TSA looked in freight rail transportation. It concerns Toxic Inhalation Hazard (TIH) rail cars. The measures should avoid occurrence of unattended TIH cars in High Threat Urban Areas. If they are in these areas it helps them by providing protection or surveillance. The plan of TSA is also that Department of Homeland Security should be able to locate any car containing security sensitive materials at any time.



All the security measures make travelling by air a little bit uncomfortable. The waiting times have lowered but are still quite unpleasant. TSA officials claim that the waiting time has dropped from average 13 minutes to some 11 minutes. However, the waiting times at Dulles International airport dropped to 14 minutes from 24 minutes in October.



A possibility for travelers is the Registered Traveler program. This program is going on at airport in Orlando. The program allows the people, who pay $100 a year and undergo a background check, to go quickly through a special kiosk area and then through TSA checkpoints.



The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport are interested in the program since the TSA proclaimed that it will allow the Registered Traveler program to spread to other airports.


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