GA Senator Chambliss questions TSA policies - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

GA Senator Chambliss questions TSA policies

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WASHINGTON (WRCB)-- Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss is urging the TSA to strike a balance between privacy protection and effective security measures.

Chambliss wrote a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

In the letter, he asks how the TSA is addressing public concerns. He also questions what's being done to ensure professionalism. Chambliss asks specifically about policies regarding children.

Dear Madam Secretary:

I write today in regards to the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) recent announcement of the implementation of new pat-down procedures at checkpoints nationwide.  While I recognize the importance of rigorous screening to ensure the safety and security of air travel, some questions have arisen as to the nature of these procedures and their invasiveness.

I have received numerous complaints and have heard concerns from hundreds of constituents in Georgia regarding these new pat-down procedures.  Specifically, constituents question the increasingly invasive nature of these procedures given the heavy burden the traveling public is already facing.  What are the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TSA doing to address these concerns?  Has TSA undertaken any efforts to improve communication with the public on these more aggressive screening procedures?  In addition, in light of recent news reports alleging inappropriate conduct by certain TSA employees when conducting pat-downs, what measures have TSA and DHS taken or plan to take to ensure the professionalism of its employees?

Furthermore, I seek clarification of TSA's screening policy with respect to children.  I understand from Administrator Pistole's recent testimony that children under the age of 12 are exempt from many screening procedures. However, I have had numerous reports from families with children that have undergone very rigorous and potentially invasive screening in recent weeks.  Can you please clarify the standard practice for screening young children?

Lastly, pilots and flight attendants have expressed concerns over the effects of these new procedures on members of their profession.  Atlanta, GA, home to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world, is also the home base of many flightcrew members who are directly impacted by TSA policies and procedures every single day.  Therefore, I ask you to detail the measures TSA is pursuing to expedite and improve the efficiency of the screening process for flightcrew members. 

I recognize the sensitive and vital nature of TSA's work and applaud the agency for its efforts to protect air passengers.  I believe that, by taking concerns such as these into consideration, a balance between secure air travel and privacy protection can and must be reached.

Thank you again for your attention to this matter; I appreciate your timely and informative responses to similar issues I have raised in the past. Should you or your staff have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or Tyler Stephens of my staff.   

Sincerely,

Saxby Chambliss          

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