By FlyersRights.org, Special for USDR
Flyersrights.org, the largest US airline passenger organization, has written to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Trump Administration warning against a series of ineffective or dangerous aviation security policies it is pursuing.
Paul Hudson, President and former longtime member of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, noted,
“We are alarmed that the Trump Administration is not only failing to correct past TSA inadequacies but is compounding them by pursuing newly misguided policies including-
- FY 2018 budget proposal eliminating budgets for airport security patrols and turning over all airport security other than passenger and baggage screening to local law enforcement (some Florida legislators have responded by calling for airports to become easy conceal carry zones);
- Continuing to permit live ammunition to be carried with guns in checked baggage so that more January 2017 Fort Lauderdale airport massacres are enabled (policy reaffirmed by TSA February 3rd);
- Refusing any airport perimeter security so that the US is vulnerable to Brussels, Istanbul airport and Manchester style terrorism (such attacks killed about 320 and paralyzed travel for days);
- Proposed banning of lap top computers and other electronic devices in airliner cabins on long haul flights to the US (instead of just requiring that they go through explosive detection screening as used for checked baggage and then reclaimed on board);
- Highly invasive pat downs, especially on children, disabled, elderly, transgender and sexual assault victims, thereby undermining public confidence and instilling fear and loathing by many passengers for the TSA, and used by no other country.
- Continued refusal of high level TSA and DHS officials to meet with passenger groups and the exclusion of US based airline passenger organizations from its Aviation Security Advisory Committee.
- Ignoring Congressional subpoenas and requests on dubious grounds apparently to cover up mismanagement.
The U.S. despite many TSA problems has been fortunate to have avoided massive new aviation terrorism attacks since 9/11/2001. But unless effective security policies are updated and bad ones discontinued, we fear that such relative good fortune will not continue despite good faith efforts by most TSA employees.”
Previously, Flyersrights.org successfully supported in court cases the continued banning of knives in airliner cabins and the application of the Whistle Blower Protection statute to the Dept. of Homeland Security.