TSA chief promises new vision for airport security checkpoints

The new head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has promised to unveil a new vision for airport security checkpoints in the coming months, with the goal of improving safety at the public spaces outside of screening areas.

Speaking at a Washington conference on Tuesday, TSA Administrator David Pekoske said incidents like the deadly bombing outside the Brussels airport, the fatal mass shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas and a lone shooter at the Fort Lauderdale airport are all a “stark reminder” of the need for extra vigilance and tighter security in public spaces.

“In my ideal world, we don’t have hundreds of people queued up to go through security,” Pekoske said at the Airports Council International – North America conference. “That in itself is a security vulnerability.”

Pekoske, a former vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, acknowledged some of the challenges facing the agency, including the high turnover rates among TSA employees and the fact that the agency has seen seven permanent administrators in the last 16 years.

“I’m not here to be a one and done in this job. I will stay as long as I’m allowed to stay, because I think consistency is very important,” Pekoske said. “I’m looking to really make an impact on transportation security overall.”

Since stepping into the role this August, Pekoske has asked the agency to work with the airline and airport industry, technology partners and academia to start coming up with innovative ideas for the “airport security area of the future.” That could include rebuilding airports or changing screening processes, Pekoske said.

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Source: The Hill