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The Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that has authority over the security of the travelling public in the United States. It was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, sponsored by Don Young in the United States House of Representatives and Ernest Hollings in the Senate, passed by the 107th U. S. Congress, and signed into law by President George V. Bush on November 19, 2001.
The TSA was created as a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Its first administrator, John Magaw, was nominated by President Bush on December 10, 2001 and confirmed by the Senate the following January.The agency’s proponents, including Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, argued that only a single federal agency would better protect air travel than the private companies who operated under contract to single airlines or groups of airlines that used a given terminal facility. The organization was charged with developing policies to protect U. S. transportation, especially in airport security and the prevention of aircraft hijacking. With State, local and regional partners, the TSA oversees security for highways, railroads, busses, mass transit systems, pipelines, and ports. However,the bulk of the TSA’s efforts ison aviation security. The TSA is responsible for screening passengers and baggage at more than 450 U.S. airports.
In 2003, the TSA implemented the Screening of Passengers by Observation Technique (SPOT) which expanded across the United States in 2007. In this program, Behaviour Detection Officers (BDOs), who are TSOs, observe passengers as they go through security checkpoints, looking for behaviour that might indicate a higher risk. Such passengers are subject to additional screening. This program has led to concerns about, and allegations of racial profiling. According to the TSA, SPOT screening officers are trained to observe behaviour only and not a person’s appearance, race, ethnicity or religion.
The TSA program was reviewed in 2013 by the federal government’s Government Accountability Office, which recommended cutting funds for it because there was no proof of its effectiveness. The JASON scientific advisory group has also said that no scientific evidence exists to support the detection or implication of future behaviour, including intent.
The TSA also oversees the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which gives some pilots permission to carry firearms in the field as a defence against hijackers. Passengers are required to present a valid ID at the security checkpoint before boarding their flight. Valid forms of identification include passports from the U.S. or a foreign government, state-issued photo identification, or military ID. Passengers that do not have ID may still be allowed to fly if their identity can be verified through an alternate way.
Questions rose up from traveller who prefer to fly with Charter Flight Group’s private charter flights if they are exempted from the TSA program. In response to this query, TSA is amending the aviation security requirements concerning private charter flights’ passenger operations. TSA issued the existing standard in June 2002, as an emergency final rule. The rule requires private charter operators using aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 95000 pounds or more, to ensure that passengers and their carry-on baggage are screened prior to boarding.