February 25, 2003 - TSA
's Pilot Screening Program for Children Proves to be a Kid-Friendly Process at Denver Airport Final Update as TSA
Prepares to Join New Homeland Security Department
Contact: Suzanne Luber
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA
) today announced its kid-friendly pilot-screening program at Denver International Airport -- a pilot project to help ensure a child's trip to the airport is safe and enjoyable.
"Security for all air travelers is our first priority," said Adm. James M. Loy, Under Secretary of Transportation for Security. "But the screeners in Denver have found a way to make the process a more enjoyable experience for small children. This is just another example of TSA
reaching its goal of providing world-class security and world-class customer service."
Security rules require that all passengers be screened and that all checkpoint alarms be resolved. Therefore, screeners must perform additional checks on all passengers, regardless of age, when they trigger the alarm on the metal detector.
The kid-friendly process begins when families approach the lanes designated for them at the airport checkpoints. Screeners talk to the kids, give them a sticker with a smiling face, and use hand puppets to entertain them as they go through the metal detector. If secondary screening is necessary, screeners ask kids to stand on special mats that feature cats and dinosaurs and use a fuzzy "caterpillar" that wraps around the hand wand making it more friendly.
"I am proud to lead a group of professionals who saw a chance to make the screening process better," said Denver Federal Security Director Bill Pickle. "This program clearly illustrates our screeners' commitment to serving travelers, kids and parents alike."
If successful, the program at Denver International could eventually be in place at all of the nation's 429 commercial airports.
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