Over the weekend, in anticipation of the busy holiday travel season beginning this week, TSA made available audio, video and paper signage asking for travelers' cooperation with enhanced security measures as well as guidance for what to expect with Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) and thorough pat-downs.
TSA encourages airport operators to incorportate TSA Administrator Pistole's audio message into airports' public address systems, stating that the message from Pistole can replace the current "DHS threat level" announcement airports are currently required to play on the public side. TSA has posted a mp3 file of Pistole's announcement for airports to access and download on the TSA secure Web board for airport operators (ACO-200) under "General Information." Pistole's audio message is as follows:
"On behalf of the more than 50,000 Transportation Security Officers across the country, thank you for being our partners in security. For your safety, TSA have instituted new screening procedures at checkpoints. Please take a moment to read the materials available about these procedures and your rights as a passenger. We appreciate your patience as we all work together to keep travel safe."
TSA has also produced a short video which has been posted on TSA's public Web site and distributed to Federal Security Directors at airports to play on available monitors. In addition, TSA has distributed a paper sign for posting and distribution at airports as well.
Here is a transcript of the video/message:
"Hello, I'm TSA Administrator John Pistole. 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 3 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 TSA.gov.
Thank you and remember that at TSA, your safety is our priority."
TSA is interested in knowing if airports have begun to play the audio and/or video message at their local facilities and if signs have been posted. If you have incorporated TSA's audio and/or video messaging at your airport, please let AAAE know and we will report back to TSA.