Friday, October 28, 2011

TSA Week In Review: Loaded Guns & A Knife In A Nut Can

Nuts
Can Shown Not Actual Can (Courtesy of Eric Kilby)
A lot of passengers simply forget that they have certain items in their bags, but when a prohibited item is intentionally concealed, it’s called an artfully concealed item. We had several of these this past week and here are a few of the more interesting ones:
  • During Advance Imaging Technology (AIT) screening at  Salt Lake City (SLC), a bottle of vodka was found taped to the inside of a passengers lower calf area. The interesting thing here is that the passenger could have put the vodka in 3.4 oz. bottles in a baggie (not a brown bag) and that would have been just fine. For all we know, this could have been liquid explosives.
  • A passenger at Las Vegas (LAS) hid an unloaded .25 caliber handgun under the flap of their duffle bag. It turns out that flaps aren’t X-ray proof…
  • It also turns out that chewing tobacco isn’t X-ray proof either. That’s where TSOs at Chicago Midway (MDW) found a passenger’s knife. I’m going out on a limb here, but I suppose they were “spittin’ mad?”
  • Aw nuts! is probably what a passenger was thinking when TSOs at Albuquerque (ABQ) found their knife hidden in a can of peanuts.
After being told that some of the toiletries in her bag were too large, (read about TSA liquid rules) a passenger at Charlotte (CLT) took the next logical step and told our officers she had a bomb in her bag. Not only did that make her day a little longer, the entire checkpoint was closed until the situation was resolved. Her fellow passengers weren’t too happy.

A loaded .40 caliber handgun with 15 rounds and one chambered was found at Indian Wells Valley Airport (IYK) on Wednesday. This time was a little different though. It wasn’t found at the checkpoint, it was found in an unattended bag near the rental car counters. Ooops.

Yet another inert grenade was found in a carry-on bag at Birmingham. This time, it was a gift for the passenger’s son. While it was an inert grenade and posed no threat, we don’t know that when it’s on the X-ray monitor. We have to treat it like it’s real.  Read here and here about all the grenades we find.

Stun guns, firearm components, ammunition, brass knuckles, knives with blades up to 5 ½”, and switchblades were among some of the dangerous items found around the nation by our officers in passenger’s carry-on bags this past week.

Our officers found 25 loaded firearms in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. (Not counting the unloaded and replica ones we found). Here’s a rundown of the loaded weapons we kept off of airplanes this week:
  • 10-21: TSA Officer at PHX detects a loaded .40 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-21: TSA Officer at RNO detects a loaded 9mm
  • 10-21: TSA Officer at BOS detects a loaded .40 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-21: TSA Officer at DEN detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-21: TSA Officer at TPA detects a loaded .380 pistol
  • 10-22: TSA Officer at GNV detects a loaded 9mm pistol
  • 10-22: TSA Officer at ATL detects a loaded .40 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-23: TSA Officer at ABQ detects a loaded 9mm pistol
  • 10-23: TSA Officer at DFW detects a loaded .380 pistol
  • 10-23: TSA Officer at AUS detects a loaded .380 pistol
  • 10-24: TSA Officer at LEX detects a loaded .357 pistol
  • 10-24: TSA Officer at AEX detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-24: TSA Officer at PDX detects a loaded 9mm pistol
  • 10-24: TSA Officer at AUS detects a loaded .380 pistol
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at MCO detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at TUS detects a loaded .32 pistol
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at CMH detects a loaded .45 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at DRO detects a loaded .45 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at PHX detects a loaded .357 pistol
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at LIT detects a loaded .357 pistol
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at SLC detects a loaded .45 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-26: TSA Officer at AUS detects a loaded 9mm pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-26: TSA Officer at BOI detects a loaded .44 pistol
  • 10-27: TSA Officer at OKC detects a loaded .380 pistol
  • 10-27: TSA Officer at CMH detects a loaded .38 pistol
You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms.

Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items in their bag. That’s why it’s important to check your bags before you leave.

We also look for explosives and bomb components as well, but thankfully those are extremely rare and we're happy to keep it that way.

TSA Blog Team

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Inappropriate Note Author Identified and Removed From Screening

*** Update 10/27/11: After working with our Office of Chief Counsel and Privacy Office, we have been cleared to say the following: TSA has completed its investigation of this matter, and has initiated action to remove the individual from federal service.  Like all federal employees, this Transportation Security Officer is entitled to due process and the protections embodied in the Privacy Act.   Pending the completion of the removal action, the employee will not perform any screening duties. ***

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Earlier this week, a passenger found a highly inappropriate note scrawled on a "Notice of Inspection" that TSA places in checked bags if they are required to be searched. She tweeted a photo of what she found and we soon learned of the incident.

TSA quickly launched an investigation and identified the employee responsible. That individual was immediately removed from screening operations and appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated.

The handwritten note was highly inappropriate and unprofessional, and TSA has zero tolerance for this type of behavior.

Agency officials have also reached out to the passenger to personally apologize for this unfortunate incident.

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Myth Buster: TSA Not Setting Up Checkpoints On Tennessee Highways

TSA OfficerDepending on what inaccurate blog post you may have read, you would think that TSA has checkpoints set up all across Tennessee’s highways.  That’s just simply not the case. In fact, it’s really startling to see how off base some of the claims have been.

As part of an ongoing terrorism prevention and response program, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security hosted a statewide exercise on October 18-20, 2011.  TSA participated through its Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response program. The exercise focused on improving the communications and operating relationships of state, local, and federal agencies when responding to any type of homeland security situation.

TSA VIPR personnel participated at multiple locations in the Tennessee exercise, supporting state and local personnel as they inspected vehicles to identify potential security threats.

In addition, Transportation Security Officers were in attendance to provide information including a leaflet to truck drivers at weigh stations about TSA’s First Observer program that encourages drivers to report potentially suspicious activity or items they see on the road.

TSA officers did not physically screen drivers during this exercise as erroneously reported.  The actual vehicle inspections were conducted by the Tennessee State Highway Patrol just the same as they are done every day.
TSA Blog Team 

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

 

Friday, October 21, 2011

TSA Week In Review: Loaded Guns & Landmines

Landmines Found at SLC
Landmines Found at SLC
Yes, you read the title correctly. Landmines… TSA officers found in checked baggage at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) after our Explosive Detection System alarmed. SLC Explosive Ordnance Disposal arrived on the scene and determined the mines were inert. After all was said and done, all checked bags from that area had to be rerouted to other baggage systems and four flights were delayed 19 minutes.

Unloaded firearms, firearm parts, ammunition, stun guns, brass knuckles, assorted knives of all sizes and types, a collapsible baton, fraudulent IDs, nunchucks, and yet another darn replica grenade were among items found around the nation by our officers in passenger’s carry-on bags this past week.

King Midas in Reverse traveled through Newport News Williamsburg International Airport this past Thursday with a brick of gold that had ‘$10,000,000.00’ stamped on it. The police responded and while the gold was fake, the warrant against the individual was 100% authentic. The real fugitive, and his fake gold, were taken into custody by law enforcement.

This past Wednesday, a Transportation Security Officer's search of a suspicious bag at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport's C-Pier checkpoint yielded five credit cards and an additional driver's license... all belonging to different people, none of which belonged to the passenger. TSA contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who took the individual into custody.

In another incident, a passenger at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was placed under arrest after he got a little tipsy and was heard saying he was going to bring a bomb onboard the aircraft.

It’s no secret that we find drugs and concealed cash nearly every day. We find them both during baggage checks and also during screening with advanced imaging technology (aka body scanners). We’re not looking for drugs and cash, but they show up as anomalies in the same exact places where explosives could be hidden. That’s why these finds are significant. It shows that our technology and procedures work.  Just this week at Westchester County Airport (HPN), a large mass was detected in a carry-on bag. After a bag search, a false bottom was located in the bag where over $50,000.00 of cash was bundled. Each bundle was wrapped in cellophane and a cloth that had been soaked in an unknown fragrant substance. The passenger’s ID was fraudulent and they were arrested by the Westchester County Police on state charges.

The TSA Week In Review appeared in a New York Times Editorial titled: Check-In at Dodge City. Also, a reader of the York Daily Record wrote a letter to the editor stating that they believe that “overall, the negative reviews of TSA are unwarranted.” Thanks for the kind words!

Dr. Emma Garrison-Alexander, TSA’s Chief Information Officer and Assistant Administrator for Information Technology, was recognized earlier this week with the United States Government Information Security Leadership Award (GISLA), presented by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc., (ISC)². Great job!

Our officers found 22 loaded firearms since I posted last Friday in carry-on baggage. And 1 one on a passenger! (Not counting the unloaded and replica firearms we found). Here is a rundown of the loaded weapons we kept off of airplanes this week:
  • 10-14: TSA Officer at SAT detects a loaded .22 pistol with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-15: TSA Officer at CLL detects a loaded .45 pistol with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-15: TSA Officer at MCI detects a loaded .9mm pistol.
  • 10-15: TSA Officer at ATL detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-16: TSA Officer at CLT detects a loaded .38 pistol.
  • 10-16: TSA Officer at OKC detects a loaded  9mm pistol.
  •  10-16: TSA Officer at PHX detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber. 
  • 10-17: TSA Officer at BNA detects a loaded .45 pistol. 
  • 10-17: TSA Officer at BUR detects a loaded .38 pistol. 
  • 10-17: TSA Officer at MCO detects a loaded 9mm pistol with a round in the chamber. 
  • 10-18: TSA Officer at BNA detects a loaded .380 pistol. 
  • 10-19: TSA Officer at LAW detects a loaded .357 pistol with a round in the chamber. 
  • 10-19: TSA Officer at PHX detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber. 
  • 10-19: TSA Officer at PHX detects a loaded .38 pistol with a round in the chamber. 
  • 10-19: TSA Officer at FMN detects a loaded 9mm pistol.
  • 10-19: TSA Officer at LIT detects a loaded .380 pistol. 
  • 10-19: TSA Officer at SAV detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-20: TSA Officer at IAD detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber. 
  • 10-20: TSA Officer at TUL detects a loaded .38 pistol. 
  • 10-20: TSA Officer at LIT detects a loaded .38 pistol.
  • 10-20: TSA Officer at ATL detects a loaded 9mm pistol. 
  • 10-20: TSA Officer at MEM detects a loaded .38 pistol with a round in the chamber. 
  • 10-20: One passenger at DFW took it to the extreme. In the passenger’s back pack, a duffle bag and a sleeping bag, a TSO found two unloaded pistols, (.380 & 9mm) 8 knives of varying blade lengths with seven inches being the longest blade, a saw, and three ammo magazines.   
  • 10-20: After alarming the walk through the metal detector at HSV, a passenger immediately remembered he had a loaded .22 Derringer in his pocket.  
Multiple Items Found At DFW From One Passenger
Multiple Items Found At DFW From One Passenger
You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms.

Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items in their bag. That’s why it’s important to check your bags before you leave.

We also look for explosives and bomb components as well, but thankfully those are extremely rare and we're happy to keep it that way.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How To Sign Up To Participate in TSA Pre✓™

TSA Precheck Logo
We’ve been getting a lot of interest and rave reviews since rolling out TSA Pre✓™ earlier this month and travelers have been asking  how they can sign up.

The good news is that you may already be eligible and just not know it. This summer, after partnering with American and Delta airlines, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to identify a limited group of potential participants to test the expedited screening concept, each airline and CBP sent communications out to the participant pool telling them how to opt into the TSA Pre✓™ pilot. If you are a United States citizen and an existing member of one of CBP's Trusted Traveler programs, such as Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS or one of the more frequent flyers with Delta and American you more than likely received one of those communications.  This might be a good time to search your inbox to find it!

There’s more good news:  if you didn’t get the initial communication or accidentally tossed it,  there is still a way to participate in TSA Pre✓™. Read on…

If you are a United States citizen and are currently a member of CBP’s eligible Trusted Traveler programs (Global Entry, SENTRI, NEXUS), you are automatically qualified to participate in the TSA Pre✓™ pilot as long as you are flying on a participating airline at a participating airport.  (If you’re a more frequent flyer with Delta or American, you must opt in to the program by responding to the communication sent to you, which is why it’s important to find that email and follow the directions in it.) 

The most important thing to know about TSA Pre✓™ during the pilot phase is:
  • Participants flying on Delta Air Lines must be flying out of either Atlanta (ATL) or Detroit (DTW)
  • Participants flying on American Airlines must be flying out of Miami (MIA) or Dallas/Fort Worth   (DFW)
This applies for both the participating airline frequent flyers and the CBP Trusted Traveler participants. 

Booking Reservations
So now you’re ready to book your flight, and you want to participate – what do you do?  Current members of CBP’s Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS programs just need to place their PASS ID in the ‘Known Traveler Number’ field when booking their reservation. 
So now you’re ready to book your flight, and you want to participate – what do you do?  Current members of CBP’s Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS programs just need to place their PASS ID in the ‘Known Traveler Number’ field when booking their reservation.
Click For Larger Image

Frequent flyers who have already opted in through their airline don’t need to do anything more – the airlines will send confirmation of their participation when they send us the passenger’s Secure Flight data. 

At The Airport
American Airlines’ participants  must  use check-in kiosks at the airport to print their boarding pass.  Delta Airlines participants do not.  

The next important step is to go to the specific checkpoint that has been specially configured for TSA Pre✓™ at each airport. At these checkpoints, an officer will scan your boarding passes to verify that you are eligible, and if you are, direct you to the expedited screening lane.  If you go to the wrong checkpoint, you’ll miss the opportunity for expedited screening.  So if you’re eligible and flying anytime soon, I’d keep the information below with my boarding pass:

TSA Pre✓™ Checkpoints:

  • Atlanta: T-South Checkpoint (Delta only)
  • Dallas: Terminal C, Checkpoint C30 (American only)
  • Detroit: Checkpoint 2 on the ticketing level (Delta only)
  • Miami: D2 Checkpoint (American only)
The last key point I wanted to pass on is that  opting into the pilot will not guarantee expedited security screening for every flight. We have built random and unpredictable factors throughout the aviation security system to guard against terrorists gaming the system and this program is no exception.   

I’m not done passing on good news. If you’re a United States citizen and not currently a member of one of CBP’s Trusted Traveler programs, you can join one now and be eligible for TSA Pre✓™ after you’re enrolled.  Here are the basic steps for applying:

Go to the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) page and register for a CBP Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account. Once registered in GOES, you can move forward with your enrollment in one of the CBP eligible programs. If you’re having trouble, you can go here for a presentation on how to locate a PASS ID (or Membership Number) in the GOES account.

And if you’ve gotten this far in the post and are still wondering what the heck TSA Pre✓™ is, you can take a look at this blog post from our Administrator, John S. Pistole or check out the info at TSA.gov.  

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team



Friday, October 14, 2011

Week in Review: Lipstick Knife & Lost and Found - And a few other tidbits...

Lipstick Knife
Stock Photo of Lipstick Knife
It was business as usual at the checkpoints again this past week.

A passenger at MCO gave us a good example of something you should never say during screening: "You better check me close. I am about to blow." After finishing screening, the passenger's airline denied them boarding and removed their bag from the plane. The passenger was permitted to rebook with a different airline.

In addition to all of the loaded guns we found, (listed below) we also found a lot of other prohibited items around the nation to include gun parts, ammunition, stun guns, mace, throwing stars, throwing knives, switchblades, butterfly knives, kitchen knives etc. In one instance at MDW, one of our officers found a lipstick knife. Paging 007... AT RSW, a passenger went as far as to conceal two knives in the handles of their carry-on bag. In yet another instance at SFO, a knife was found detected under the sole of a passenger's shoe. One could say they were walking on a knife's edge.

Our officers found a couple of other notable things this past week, but they weren't prohibited. A passenger at EWR was relieved after answering a page on the public address system. He had left his wrist watch and a wallet containing $405.00 in cash at the checkpoint. An alert team of TSA officers had found his belongings and worked with the airport to page him so that he could come back to retrieve his belongings. Another passenger who had just traveled through ROC was taxiing to the runway when she noticed that her two-carat diamond had fallen out of her ring. After a series of phone calls, officers at ROC located the diamond on the floor at the checkpoint and it was eventually returned to a very happy passenger.

Our officers found 21 loaded firearms since I posted last Friday. (Not counting the unloaded and replica firearms we found). Here is a rundown:
  • 10-7: TSA Officer at IAH detects a loaded 9mm pistol with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-7: TSA Officer at LBB detects a loaded .380 pistol.
  • 10-7: TSA Officer at SAT detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-8 TSA Officer at MOB detects a loaded .32 pistol with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-8 TSA Officer at AUS detects a loaded .380 pistol.
  • 10-8 TSA Officer at SEA detects a loaded .357 pistol. (Seattle Post Intelligencer)
  • 10-9: TSA Officer at PHF detects a loaded .22 pistol.
  • 10-9: TSA Officer at STL detects a loaded .22 pistol with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-9: TSA Officer at MSY detects a loaded 9mm pistol.
  • 10-10: TSA Officer at MCO detects a loaded .380 pistol.
  • 10-10: TSA Officer at SLC detects a loaded 9mm pistol with a round in the chamber. (ABC4)
  • 10-10: TSA Officer at SAT detects a loaded 9mm pistol.
  • 10-11: TSA Officer at DEN detects a loaded .22 with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-12: TSA Officer at GSO detects a loaded 9mm pistol with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-12: TSA Officer at MSY detects a loaded .22 pistol.
  • 10-12: TSA Officer at HOU detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-12: TSA Officer at GRR detects a loaded .22 pistol.
  • 10-13: TSA Officer at ANC detects a loaded .380 pistol.
  • 10-13: TSA Officer at IND detects a loaded 9mm pistol.
  • 10-13: TSA Officer at PHX detects a loaded .357 pistol.
  • 10-13: TSA Officer at SAT detects a loaded 9mm pistol with a round in the chamber.
  • 10-13: TSA Officer at MIA detects a loaded firearm of unknown caliber.
Unless you're a law enforcement officer or Federal Flight Deck Officer who is able to fly with a firearm in the cabin of the aircraft, your firearm (s) must be declared to the airline and checked in your luggage. You can go here for more details.

Just because we find a firearm on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. And just so you know, we also look for explosives and bomb components as well, but thankfully those are extremely rare and we're happy to keep it that way.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team


If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

TSA In The Tabloids

Every morning I take a glance to see what's bubbling up to the surface in the blogosphere. I saw where we had made the tabloids in two different stories. In both examples, I noticed I could use these stories to clarify a couple of things with travelers. Nothing major, but good to know. Read on…

Story #1: Kris Humphries Wedding Ring DISASTER Averted  - In this story, the TMZ reporter talks about how Kim Kardashian’s husband had to take off his wedding ring prior to walking through the walk through metal detector and dropped it on the ground. This near disaster could have been averted. Passengers do not have to remove jewelry. Our officers can advise you as to what might be making you alarm the detector, but it’s up to you whether or not you remove your rings, watches, necklaces, etc.

Story #2: So what does the scan show? Jessica Simpson goes through airport security after keeping mum on pregnancy rumours - In this story, the Daily Mail reporter is assuming we can see through an individual and know whether they’re pregnant or not with our Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). While some might assume this, it’s just not the case. We have two types of imaging technology. Millimeter Wave and Backscatter. Neither are strong enough to see through the body.  Millimeter wave: This past summer, we rolled out new software on all of our millimeter wave units so that all we see on these units is a generic outline of a person. And that’s only if the machine detects an anomaly. Backscatter technology: We currently see this type of image when using backscatter technology. My apologies to tabloid readers everywhere, but TSA can’t answer this one for you. You’ll have to ask Jessica.

For more travel information, be sure to visit our “For Travelers” section at TSA.gov. I regret to inform you that you won’t find any tabloid news on our web page.

TSA Blog Team 


If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Week In Review: Loaded Guns and a Good Samaritan

Stun Gun
I just wanted to put up a quick little post highlighting a few things that have happened over the past week that we haven't blogged or tweeted about. Until now that is...

Every day, TSA officers work at more than 450 airports nationwide to keep you safe when you fly. So far this week, our officers have discovered 10 loaded firearms in carry-on bags at security checkpoints across the nation. In addition to these loaded weapons that we've kept off of airplanes, there were also unloaded firearms, loose ammunition, and firearm parts detected that aren't mentioned in this post. And of course, a host of other prohibited items such as hazmat, knives, etc. that we kept off of planes.

Here is a quick run-down of weapons detected and kept off planes this week:
The most popular explanation we get when we find a gun is "I forgot it was in my bag." Once a firearm is discovered, TSA takes a step back and law enforcement takes over. Depending on local laws, you could be fined or even arrested. As a gun owner myself, I’ve been around guns as long as I can remember and I think it's crucial to know where your firearm is at all times. So… check those bags before you leave home. TSA encourages all passengers traveling with weapons to take the proper precautions when traveling with a firearm. Unless you're one of the few who are able to fly with a firearm in the cabin of the aircraft, your firearm (s) must be declared to the airline and checked in your luggage. You can go here for more details. 

In the news... Our officers made a shocking discovery at Dulles when they detected a stun gun in a passenger's carry-on bag. JFK officers discovered brass knuckles, stun guns, and a sword in a passenger's bag. And last but not least, one of our officers at SYR played the role of a Good Samaritan when she went above and beyond to help a passenger get her cell phone back. 

a 6" meat cleaver was found concealed inside the lining of a passenger's carry-on bag at SLC. The passenger stated she didn't put it there. And as an added bonus, a 6" meat cleaver was found concealed inside the lining of a passenger's carry-on bag at SLC. The passenger stated she didn't put it there. 



See you next week! 
TSA Blog Team 

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.





Thursday, October 6, 2011

CAT/BPSS - Automatic ID/Boarding Pass Checker

Passport & Boarding Pass

You're probably wondering what exactly CAT/BPSS stands for, right? It's been making the news over the past week, but if you haven't read about the technology, it stands for Credential Authentication Technology/Boarding Pass Scanning System. I prefer to call it the ID Thingamabob.

Short Story: It detects fake documents and IDs.

Slightly Longer Story: This is a seriously cool piece of technology that enhances security and increases efficiency by automatically and concurrently comparing a passenger's ID and boarding pass to a set of security features. It verifies that neither have been falsified and that the information on both match. The system also verifies the IDs of airline personnel and can screen a wide range of travel documents.

Just last month, we purchased a total of 30 systems that will be deployed at select airports for further operational testing early next year. The airports included in our TSA Pre program (DFW, MIA, DTW, ATL) will be among some of the first recipients of the systems.

What should passengers expect once we begin to test these in airports? Passengers will hand their ID to the TSA Travel Document Checker (TDC) who will scan it while the passenger scans their own boarding pass using a built in scanner that's part of the technology. Once the scan is complete, the technology automatically and permanently deletes the information from the system. Here's a link to the Privacy Impact Assessment for the technology.

If testing proves successful, TSA could deploy the technology to airports nationwide. Our officers at airports that are not part of the operational testing will continue to verify travel documents with the aid of lights and loupes, as one of many layers of security.

Read more about IDs  Here

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team


If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.