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TSA pat-downs: DIA to stick with TSA screening

10:15 AM, Nov 20, 2010   |    comments
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Commercial airports in the U.S. can participate in opt-out program, where private security firms provide screening services as a contractor to the TSA.

"At this time, DIA has no plans to opt for the switch from the TSA to a private security screening company," DIA spokeswoman Jenny Schiavone said.

Currently, 16 airports across the country have taken advantage of the program, according to the TSA website.

The contractors are required to follow the exact same screening procedures as TSA agents currently employ.

"For the traveling public, this would mean that their security screening experience would be the same regardless of which entity was providing the service," Schiavone said.

She says DIA has received complaints and comments from passengers regarding the TSA's new security screening procedures.

"We are reviewing each message we've received and we are answering those that pertain directly to the airport and forwarding the others to the TSA for response," she said in an e-mailed statement.

The new procedures require front hand pat-downs and full-body scans at security checkpoints.

On Friday, TSA officials exempted pilots from those screenings if they provide the proper identification.

Pilots traveling in uniform on airline business will be allowed to pass security by presenting two photo IDs, one from their company and one from the government, to be checked against a secure flight crew database, officials at pilot unions said.

The scans and pat-downs remained in effect at DIA for other passengers Friday. The pat-downs are clearly visible at the checkpoints.

Many people still remained frustrated at the new rules, including Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colorado).

He told 850 KOA on Friday he was recently subjected to a full-body scan while traveling.

"Then I was wanded. Then I was patted down, all three things," he said. "When that occurred, I said, 'Look, I need to talk to somebody because this is over the top.'"

Perlmutter says he is talking to the TSA about scaling back the regulations for everyone else going through security as well.

"From a congressional standpoint, we can say, 'OK, you guys have gone too far here,'" he said.

There are growing Internet movements for passengers planning a national opt-out day on Nov. 24, where they refuse to submit to full-body scans. The intention is to slow down security lines by opting for a pat-down.

"You should never have to explain to your children, 'Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it's a government employee, then it's OK,'" read a statement on the website www.optoutday.com.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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