In the face of a continuing terrorist threat, security measures at airports are constantly being updated and expanded.
The responsibility for protecting airports is shared between the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and specific air-ports.
“The TSA is responsible for buying technology that protects airports,” said Carter Morris, senior vice president of transportation at the American Association of Airport Executives. “Everything else—fences, service doors, credentialing and law enforcement—is the airports’ responsibility.”
To enhance aviation safety for the traveling public, TSA is making big changes in explosives detection training and technology. The agency has significantly increased the number of canine explosives detection teams and training for thousands of transportation security officers.
Since April 28, 2008, every airline now has the ability to create a system to verify and securely store passengers’ dates of birth to clear up watch list misidentifications. Once the airlines create their systems, passengers will have the option to provide their date of birth at the airline ticket counter and then have it stored in a secure system.
As of May 26, passengers over 18 are required to show a U.S. federal- or state-issued photo ID that contains information, such as name, date of birth, gender and expiration date, with a tamper-resistant feature.
Airports are enhancing security with measures such as ensuring appropriate credentialing for employees.
“There’s a lot of talk right now about biometrically enabling badges of employees who work in sensitive areas,” Morris said. “This would require a biometric fingerprint before employees have access to doors and information.”
“We’re going to see an explosion of new technology in this area,” Morris said.