New TSA chief aims to tighten U.S. airline screening: NYT

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 29, 2015 8:10 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Transportation Security Administration plans to retrain thousands of airport screeners to detect weapons better, scale back a pre-clearance program and more closely monitor security badges, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Peter V. Neffenger, the agency's new administrator, told the newspaper in an interview those measures would be part of reforms to address recent security lapses. The agency was criticized for emphasizing speed over security after the lapses.

"Efficiency and getting people through airport security lines cannot be our sole reason that makes you take your eyes off the reason for the mission," Neffenger was quoted as saying in the newspaper.

A report by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general found that airport screeners, who are TSA employees, did not detect banned weapons in 67 of 70 tests at dozens of airports, ABC News said in June, citing officials briefed on it.

Neffenger, a former Coast Guard vice admiral, was to testify before the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday.

After the report, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson reassigned acting TSA administrator Melvin Carraway and said there would be more random covert testing at checkpoints.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Alden Bentley)