Transportation Safety Administration chief John Pistole said Thursday the agency is looking at new technology such as body scanners that show passengers as "stick figures" and security methods used in Israeli airports in a drive to make air travel security "as minimally invasive as possible."
The U.N. agency that oversees aviation is pushing new guidelines for cargo security to counter al Qaeda's new mail-bomb strategy but is stopping short of calling for 100 percent screening of packages, as pilots and some U.S. lawmakers have urged.
The Homeland Security Department is proposing to discontinue the color-coded terror alert system that became a symbol of the country's post-9/11 jitters and the butt of late-night talk show jokes.
The airline security kerfuffle and the nation's slow economic recovery aren't undermining an uptick in Thanksgiving travelers taking to the skies, ensuring long security lines potentially exacerbated by a planned boycott of body-scan machines Wednesday.
Never home? President Obama has now spent more days out of the country than any other U.S. chief executive during his first two years in office: Fifteen trips to 26 countries, more than 55 travel days. Some hefty gas money, too: Air Force One costs about $181,757 per hour to operate, according to military sources.
Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole on Monday said he feared a proposed Wednesday protest of new airport screening policies will clog already long security lines and risk delays and missed flights for passengers on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
Regional airports and some local officials are joining the swelling protest against more intrusive "pat-down" screening measures at airport security checkpoints, eyeing new laws against so-called "naked X-ray" machines and perhaps even opting out of the Transportation Security Administration screening altogether.
With one of the year's busiest traveling days fast approaching, the Obama administration's top transportation security official on Monday urged passengers angry over safety procedures not to boycott airport body scans.
The head of the Transportation Security Administration on Sunday acknowledged that new full-body scanners and thorough pat-downs can be invasive and uncomfortable, but he said that the need to stay a step ahead of terrorists rules out changes in airport screening procedures.