TSA Launches Airport-Wide Security Surge to Screen Airport Employees
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced the first in a series of airport employee security operations to increase layered security measures at the nation’s airports. The surge operation is underway at Orlando International, Tampa International, Miami International, Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International, and Luis Munoz Marin International (San Juan, PR) airports.
TSA has deployed 160 transportation security officers, aviation security inspectors, federal air marshals, and other personnel to increase current employee and passenger security capabilities at these five airports. TSA began randomly screening employees working in secure areas of the airports approximately one year ago at 20 airports, and broadened the program early last fall. Now, roving groups of officers screen employees on a random and unpredictable basis nationwide.
This surge implements security enhancements directly focusing on employees working in airport secure areas. These include:
–a sharp increase in random, unpredictable screening of employees in secure areas;
–limiting secure area access during non-business hours and auditing door access during those hours for suspicious activity;
–deploying integrated teams of federal air marshals, K-9 teams, law enforcement officers, and transportation security officers to areas throughout the airport;
–conducting random screening of employees and passengers at boarding gates, including behavior detection; and
–transportation security officers randomly inspecting aircraft.
TSA will conduct additional operations in other regions in the coming weeks and months on an unannounced basis. While there is no intelligence that indicates a specific threat to aviation in Florida or Puerto Rico, this mobilization illustrates TSA’s ability to quickly and unpredictably deploy assets based on risk. The agency has developed a longer-term, sustainable plan with airport and airline partners not only for the Florida/Puerto Rico region, but for the entire U.S. aviation system.