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August 21, 2007

Screening Changes at U.S. Airports
Posted by Shadi Hamid

Just received the following email from The Sikh Coalition. Make of it what you will:

Subject: TSA Changes Rules for Headdress Searches at U.S. Airports

Dear Friends,
As some of you may be aware, we learned late last week that the Transportation Security Administration has changed its airport screening procedures as of August 4, 2007. The sudden change in policy includes, as we understand it, mandatory secondary screening for all travelers wearing any form of headgear - including religious headdress. In addition, secondary screenings of religious headdress are now permitted even if a passenger has already been cleared by a metal detector.

Millions of Sikh, Muslim, South Asian, and Jewish passengers worldwide will be affected by the new process. Still, the TSA not only sprung this on our communities without warning, but now refuses to inform the public of what the new policy entails, on the grounds of security concerns. It took Sikh Coalition staff members almost 36 hours simply to get a confirmation that the policy had indeed been changed, let alone details of the new procedure.


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I would like to say one thing that seems to missing are airports that have lost all of their service. If an airport had airline traffic in November 2007, but no scheduled airlines in November 2008, it appears they're not shown at all. This would only affect a small number of mostly rural and regional airports, but it is part of the story.

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