TSA takes over airport screening

TSA takes over airport screening

The Transportation Security Administration will celebrate its first birthday tomorrow with an official launch of its Web site, at www.tsa.dot.gov, which has been online for some time, plus a companion site for air travelers, at www.tsatraveltips.us. Tuesday also is the deadline for TSA to take over security screening at the nation's 429 commercial airports.

"We were born in the bloodshed of Sept. 11," Patrick R. Schambach, TSA's associate secretary for information and security technologies, told the Northern Virginia Technology Council today. The agency hired 50,000 employees in its first year and last week completed a changeover of passenger-screening personnel at the nation's airports. Transportation secretary Norman Y. Mineta said at a news conference today that TSA would meet the Dec. 31 deadline for baggage screening at all airports, although some facilities will use interim solutions through the first months of 2003.

TSA received a waiver from the Federal Acquisition Regulation to streamline building its organization. The agency awarded Unisys Corp. a managed-services contract in August to implement an enterprise architecture.

Airports now have only dial-up connectivity to TSA's network, but direct network connections will begin next week, Schambach said. The deadline is Jan. 31 to connect the nation's 158 major airports, although he said, "We're not really on track to make that."

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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