TSA weighs barring hundreds from flights, steps up security before inauguration
A TSA officer checks a man’s ID at a checkpoint at Orlando International Airport.
Paul Hennessy | SOPA pictures | Getty Images
The Transportation Security Administration said Friday it is screening hundreds of people to see if they should be banned from flights as it will increase security ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
“Currently TSA is processing hundreds of names with law enforcement agencies for a thorough risk assessment,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “Our intelligence and screening professionals are working diligently around the clock to ensure that those who pose a threat to our aviation sector are subjected to enhanced screening or are unable to board a plane.”
TSA said it is also increasing the number of Federal Air Marshals on some flights, random gate screenings, and more law enforcement and canine explosives detection teams. The staff is also being increased at some train stations.
The additional measures come after the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol last week and a spate of flight disruptions, some of which are politically motivated.
In the aftermath of the uprising, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents around 50,000 flight attendants on more than a dozen airlines, raised safety concerns about “mob mentality” on some flights to Washington DC last week, saying that people should be involved in the riot flying will be banned.
The FAA promised to have a zero-tolerance policy for unruly behavior on flights and to impose a fine of up to $ 35,000.
Airlines and airports also increase security. Major US airlines are banning passengers from checking guns on flights in the Washington DC area for next week starting this weekend. American Airlines stops selling alcohol on flights, while Alaska Airlines limits the number of tickets sold into the city.