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TSA administrator issues holiday travel message

MEDIA RELEASE

Transportation Security Administration Administrator John S. Pistole has issued a message to the public with tips for air travel this holiday season.

Here is a transcript of the message:

“As you travel this holiday season I want to remind you that TSA’s mission is to ensure the safety of you the traveling public and we are committed to doing so efficiently, courteously and professionally.

I’d like to offer a few tips and some important information we’d like you to know before you go through security. Remember our three simple steps to security: Have your ID out, coats & shoes off and laptop and liquids and gels less than 3 ounces out and ready.

As you enter the checkpoint you will be directed to pass through either a walk through metal detector or, at some airports, an Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) unit.

If you are directed to pass through an AIT, you may opt out. If you choose to opt out, you will receive a thorough pat-down by someone of the same gender. If you alarm either the metal detector or the AIT, you will also receive a thorough pat-down by someone of the same gender.

In either case where a pat-down is required, you have important options that we want you to be aware of: you have the option to request that the pat-down be conducted in a private room and you have the option to have that pat-down witnessed by a person of your choice.

We very much appreciate your involvement, cooperation and assistance in ensuring the safety of you, the traveling public. If you have questions about these procedures, the technology used by TSA, or our efforts to ensure your safety, please do not hesitate to ask for one of our supervisors or visit the TSA website.

Thank you and remember that at TSA, your safety is our priority.”

Pistole also issued a statement about screening procedures, which recently have come under fire from fed up travelers.

Here is his statement:

“We welcome feedback and comments on the screening procedures from the traveling public, and we will work to make them as minimally invasive as possible while still providing the security that the American people want and deserve.

“We are constantly evaluating and adapting our security measures, and as we have said from the beginning, we are seeking to strike the right balance between privacy and security.

“In all such security programs, especially those that are applied nation-wide, there is a continual process of refinement and adjustment to ensure that best practices are applied and that feedback and comment from the traveling public is taken into account.

“This has always been viewed as an evolving program that will be adapted as conditions warrant, and we greatly appreciate the cooperation and understanding of the American people.

We cannot forget that less than one year ago a suicide bomber with explosives in his underwear tried to bring down a plane over Detroit. The terrorists allegedly behind the thwarted cargo attempt last month are out there bragging about how they will strike again.

We all wish we lived in a world where security procedures at airports weren’t necessary but that just isn’t the case.”

— Find out more:
www.tsa.gov

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