In July, the Senate passed a bill aiming to provide stability and increased security to our Nation’s Aviation Systems. With the increasing threat of international terrorism, the number one priority has been to secure our airports and protect our employees and passengers. The new bill aims to do just that.
The recently passed bill will be doubling the number of TSA teams that stop and search suspicious passengers in airport public areas that are outside the security perimeter. This provision is in the wake of the attacks on Belgium and Istanbul’s airports where bombs were detonated inside the airport but outside the security perimeter. The bill also seeks to toughen employee security clearances, expand random employee inspections, and require regular reviews of perimeter security.
By implementing these safety rules, the airport is undoubtedly a safer experience for passengers and employees alike. However, there are also many issues that come with these new safety provisions. One is the possibility of hiring becoming more difficult because of tougher background checks and security clearances. Especially in positions like cleaning and maintenance or food services where a security clearance may not be required. And you may start to see candidates that are qualified for these positions looking elsewhere because they don’t want to go through the long process, possibly being denied at the end and having to start their job search over. Another concern is the overall flying experience of passengers. With the increased safety precautions, there are bound to be longer lines and slower screening processes which can result in disgruntled passengers as well as employees. However, the TSA is looking at different vetting options to sign up travelers for Precheck, which allows them to expedite the screening process if they agree to a background check beforehand. The TSA also has encouraged airports to keep Precheck lines open during peak travel times to reduce the long lines and speed the screening process.
But one thing to remember is that these security precautions are put in place to prevent terrorist attacks and make the flying experience much safer. It assures the safety of airport employees that come into work every day and allows them to provide their passengers with excellent service and a safe experience!