I understand there are a lot of questions regarding the incident yesterday that occurred on a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
Due to an ongoing investigation, there is little I can say here on the blog, but you can go to TSA.gov to read the official DHS statement from Secretary Napolitano. I am also providing the statement below.
DHS Secretary Napolitano Statement on Northwest Flight 253
December 26, 20091:00 p.m. EST
"I am grateful to the passengers and crew aboard Northwest Flight 253 who reacted quickly and heroically to an incident that could have had tragic results. The Department of Homeland Security immediately put additional screening measures into place- for all domestic and international flights- to ensure the continued safety of the traveling public. We are also working closely with federal, state and local law enforcement on additional security measures, as well as our international partners on enhanced security at airports and on flights.
The American people should continue their planned holiday travel and, as always, be observant and aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior or activity to law enforcement officials.
Passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place. These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere. Due to the busy holiday travel season, both domestic and international travelers should allot extra time for check-in."
TSA Blog Team
***Update - 12/28/09***
Please visit TSA.gov for our current Q&As and any additional updates. The most recent Q&As are pasted below.
Q: What additional security measures is TSA taking domestically?
A: TSA has a layered approach to security that allows us to surge resources as needed on a daily basis. We have the ability to quickly implement additional screening measures including explosive detection canine teams, law enforcement officers, gate screening, behavior detection and other measures both seen and unseen. Passengers should not expect to see the same thing at every airport.
Q: What additional security measures are being taken for international flights to U.S. destinations?
A: TSA issued a directive for additional security measures to be implemented for last point of departure international flights to the United States. Passengers flying into the United States from abroad can expect to see additional security measures at international airports such as increased gate screening including pat-downs and bag searches. During flight, passengers may be asked to follow flight crew instructions, such as stowing personal items, turning off electronic equipment and remaining seated during certain portions of the flight.
Q: Do passengers need to do anything differently to prepare for checkpoint security procedures? Has anything changed in terms of what passengers can bring in their carry-on or checked bags?
A: At this time, security checkpoint requirements for passengers departing U.S. airports remain the same. Passengers do not need to do anything differently, but they may notice additional security measures at the airport.
Q: Should passengers plan to arrive at airports earlier than normal?
A: Passengers traveling within the United States should give themselves extra time to check in and proceed through the security checkpoint before their flight, especially during the busy holiday travel season. TSA advises that passengers traveling on international flights to U.S. destinations allow extra time for security and arrive an additional hour earlier.
Q: How long will these measures remain in place?
A: TSA will continuously review these measures to ensure the highest levels of security.
TSA Blog Team