30-Dec-2009 10:53 AM

US TSA relaxes some security rules

US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) relaxed some security rules implemented immediately after the Northwest Airlines Flight 253 incident, granting airline pilots and airlines the power to determine whether they require passengers to remain seated during certain phases of flight, allow passengers to keep items in their laps and use in-flight entertainment systems (Reuters, 29-Dec-2009).

Australian Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, stated passengers boarding flights to the US would undergo individual searches, although passengers travelling to other destinations will not be subject to the same restrictions (Hindustan Times, 29-Dec-2009).

Chinese Foreign Ministry stated it has intensified security checks on airline services to the US (Xinhau, 29-Dec-2009).

German Interior Ministry announced it is intensifying security controls for passengers and carry-on baggage at German airports (Bloomberg, 29-Dec-2009).

Transport Canada put in place enhanced security measures for flights to the US, effective 28-Dec-2009, forbidding passengers to bring carry-on bags into the cabin of the aircraft, with some exceptions. Transport Canada also authorised the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to use RCMP and local police officers to actively assist with some procedures specific to the screening process, to relieve pressures at security checkpoints resulting directly from the temporary emergency measures announced by Transport Canada on 26-Dec-2009. [more]

FlyersRights.org, a US non-profit airline consumer advocacy group, warned (29-Dec-2009) a large number of its members have expressed concerns that the new US Transportation Security Administration procedures in reaction to the security incident on Northwest Flight 253, may place an "undue burden" on passengers. The group applauded the TSAs efforts to improve airport security in the wake of the incident. [more]

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