‘Full pat-down’ set for pas­sen­gers who refuse elec­tronic screen­ing

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS - By Ash­ley Halsey III and Michael Laris Wash­ing­ton Post

Air­port pas­sen­gers who opt out of elec­tronic screen­ing will face a full pat-down by se­cu­rity of­fi­cials as the Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion con­sol­i­dates meth­ods in use at its check­points.

The pat-down may in­clude sen­si­tive ar­eas such as breasts, but­tocks and the groin area.

Un­til last week, TSA screen­ers could em­ploy any of five pat-down pro­ce­dures to check the few pas­sen­gers who chose not to go through a mil­lime­ter wave imag­ing booth or walk-through metal de­tec­tors.

Now all pas­sen­gers will re­ceive the same pat-down, the one pre­vi­ously known as the “full pat down.”

The TSA, in a state­ment, said that a full pat-down “does not in­volve any dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the body than were screened in the pre­vi­ous stan­dard pat-down pro­ce­dure.”

The new guide­lines posted on the TSA web­site are much more ex­plicit about what pas­sen­gers should expect: “A pat-down may in­clude in­spec­tion of the head, neck, arms, torso, legs, and feet. This in­cludes head cov­er­ings and sen­si­tive ar­eas such as breasts, groin, and the but­tocks. You may be re­quired to ad­just cloth­ing dur­ing the pat-down. Pat-downs re­quire suf­fi­cient pres­sure to en­sure de­tec­tion.”

The guide­lines say that a pat-down will be con­ducted by some­one of the same gen­der as the passenger and will be wit­nessed by a sec­ond TSA screener of the same gen­der.

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