U. S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Transportation Security Administration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2003
TSA Contact: (571) 227-2829
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has clarified its policy
on screening shoes for its security work force in an effort to ensure
consistency at all airports across the nation, Adm. James M. Loy, TSA
Administrator, said today.
TSA’s increased focus on screening shoes in recent months reflects a
necessary reaction to information gathered by federal intelligence
agencies. But just as TSA, which is part of the Department of Homeland
Security, achieved consistency last fall by clarifying procedures for the
screening of drinks carried through security checkpoints, the agency is
moving now to make sure its shoe policy is implemented consistently from
coast to coast.
“Our screeners have always worked hard to make sure a ‘shoe bomb’ does not
get on an aircraft,” Adm. Loy said. “Now we must make sure our security
process is consistent so air travelers know what to expect at every
airport in the country.”
Screeners have been given explicit guidance on which shoes require X-ray
screening. Loy said screeners are being instructed to encourage passengers
to remove their shoes and submit them for X-ray examination. Passengers
will not be required to take off their shoes before going through metal
detectors, but should understand that their chances of being selected for
a more thorough, secondary screening will be lower if they do. In most
airports, TSA has found checkpoint lines move faster if people remove
their shoes for screening.
While many people do not know if their shoes contain metal, Loy repeated
that particularly thick-soled shoes and those with metal shanks or steel
toes join other apparel, such as heavy metal jewelry and belts, that
require secondary screening.
He stressed that it is an imperative that TSA be agile enough to react to
information gathered by federal intelligence agencies. Such information
can often guide the adjustments made to the screening process.
“TSA has always been alert to the danger of a ‘shoe bomb’ attack. It has
been noted that al Qaeda has trained people to make and use shoe bombs, as
highlighted by the Richard Reid incident in December 2001,” Admiral Loy
said. “These are threats that the flying public can only understand and
appreciate when they receive clear advice – advice that most often is
delivered through the actual airport experience.”
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by FWAAA: Loy can rot in hell.</font>
From our Libertarian friends who would like to see any and everything go. Total freedom to do/carry anything, anywhere, anytime.
"Be the inferior of no man, nor be the superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart." William Saroyan, American Playwright
Don't take life too seriously, afterall, you won't get out alive.
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by The Unknown Screener: From our Libertarian friends who would like to see any and everything go. Total freedom to do/carry anything, anywhere, anytime. </font>
You left off the important bit:
Total freedom to do/carry anything, anywhere, anytime, so long as it doesn't infringe upon the rights of another.
I went through security at Hailey, ID: a very small airport. My dress shoes didn't set off the metal detector, but I was pulled aside for wanding. Wanding the soles of my shoes was negative. Wanding of the tops of my shoes was positive (at a range of 1 inch) because of the metal grommets for the lace-holes. I was told to remove my shoes for xray. He also alerted on my (small) belt buckle.
These are thin leather dress shoes with medium-thin soles. It should be obvious that there is nothing in these shoes, since the soles came up negative. It seems to me that this screener needs to have some common sense.
Do any of the TSA screeners who read this thread think that this guy went overboard? Is there no discretion or common sense?
The guy then proceeded to wand my stocking feet.
There is a balance between "xray everything to enhance security" and "respect a citizen's dignity and liberty". Both sides give a little when necessary; judgement is required here.
Maybe there's something in my shoes. But then again, maybe there isn't.
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Fenito: I hate when people try to say things in a politcal polite way....heres from a screener....if you don't take off your shoes...you toy with the option of either setting off the walk-through metal detector or being selected for further screening....its totally up to you though...at our airport we only suggest....never force though...we've always done this</font>
I'm glad the press release went out, but I'd be willing to bet I'll still come across inconsistent policies at different airports.
I often wear sandal's when traveling (no metal at all) and often I am told to take them off [insert reason of the day] even when I insist there is no metal in them.
If it wasn't for Reid and his shoe bomb, I doubt any of this shoe business would be going on. I beg to ask what will happen when some terrorist or idiot like Reid starts concealing items in private body areas and gets caught?
"Sir: Shoes off, pants down, and spread your cheeks"
If a scumbag like Reid attempts to do this, would the above scenario become a reality? I ask this seriously, as all it took was Reid & one shoe bomb to start all this silly shoe business.
As far as the shoe business, it's of my opinion if your shoes don't set off the metal detector, you shouldn't get penalized with a secondary screening. In addition to my sandals (which are comfy for travel), I've purchased metal-free shoes just for travel, but often I am forced to take them off for x-ray despite the fact I don't trip the walk through metal detector.
I've even had these shoes and my sandal's wanded (no beeping) & still put through the x-ray machine. It would seem to me the threat of another shoe bomb is small (but possible) & too much time is being spent with this silly shoe business. Many of us that travel on a regular basis know whether or not our shoes will make it through the "arch" -- and many people have purposely bought shoes without metal for the specific purpose of travel after the silly shoe business started.
It was my hope I'd get through the checkpoint faster and at the same time making things easier for the TSA by wearing metal free shoes -- but instead I often get screwed around when wearing the metal free shoes I purchased to make travel easier.
If I'm wearing shoes & know there is metal in them, I'll gladly take them off prior to going through the "arch" if the floor is clean. If I'm wearing my Teva's (sandal's) or a pair of metal free shoes, I should be able to walk through and continue on without the "shoe/sandal police" dicking me around. IMHO, of course.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Ben Franklin
Unfortunately, many "airport friendly" shoes are not "airplane friendly." Sandals, flip flops, slip-on and off shoes are not good to wear on a plane, since they could leave your feet exposed or come off during an emergency. However, more and more people have switched to wearing these types of shoes on board, in order to make it easier to get through Security. This will put them at more risk in a real emergency.
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by swise: Unfortunately, many "airport friendly" shoes are not "airplane friendly." Sandals, flip flops, slip-on and off shoes are not good to wear on a plane, since they could leave your feet exposed or come off during an emergency. However, more and more people have switched to wearing these types of shoes on board, in order to make it easier to get through Security. This will put them at more risk in a real emergency.</font>
Well said. Exactly what I was thinking.
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