Make us your home page

TSA to soothe security checks

TAMPA — Getting through security at Tampa International Airport to catch a plane should become a little quicker and less stressful in the coming months.

Transportation Security Administration and airport officials are working to streamline how passengers move through checkpoints at the four airsides.

That could mean moving scanning equipment, changing how travelers queue up in lines and stationing more officers where they can direct passengers to move quickly through checkpoints, said Gary Milano, the Tampa Bay area's federal security director. By fall, local travelers should see the first pieces of the TSA program designed to make security screening a less chaotic experience.

A new checkpoint will be tested in May at one terminal of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. The idea is that a calmer screening process means better security.

The model, developed in a warehouse at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, uses soothing blue and green lighting, spa-style mood music and officers talking in quiet, friendly tones. Technology plays a big role. One example: a scanner using radio waves that can pick up weapons hidden beneath a passenger's clothes.

A calmer environment helps officers assigned to study passenger behavior pick out people acting suspiciously for searches or questioning, TSA officials say.

Tampa International travelers won't see the light panels or body scanners soon. About 250 X-ray machines that give faster, sharper images and identify explosives will be in airports by July, said TSA spokesman Christopher White. He couldn't say if Tampa will get the machines that soon.

But local travelers should notice a new attitude at checkpoints. All 45,000 TSA officers nationwide will get one-day training on how to "de-escalate" conflicts and direct passengers without barking orders, White said.

"That's the most effective way to foster a calmer environment and better security," he said.

TSA to soothe security checks 04/03/08 [Last modified: Saturday, April 5, 2008 2:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 1 in 4 Florida adults aren't registered to vote, according to non-partisan group


    TALLAHASSEE — Five million people in Florida who are eligible to vote aren't registered, according to a nationwide non-partisan group that helps improve the accuracy of state voter rolls.

    Voters line up in front of the Coliseum Ballroom in St. Petersburg on Nov. 8. A non-partisan group estimates that more than a quarter of Florida's adult-age population isn't registered to vote. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. As White House defends Jared Kushner, experts question his alleged back-channel move


    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration argued over the weekend that back-channel communications are acceptable in building dialogue with foreign governments, part of an effort to minimize fallout over White House adviser Jared Kushner's reported discussion about creating a secret conduit to the Kremlin at a Russian …

    President-elect Donald Trump embraces son in law Jared Kushner, as his daughter Ivanka Trump stands nearby, after his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of Nov. 9. [Mark Wilson | Getty Images]
  3. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul


    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  4. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall


    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  5. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]