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TSA won’t end security screening at any U.S. airports that are currently federalized.
The statement, posted to the agency’s website Wednesday, comes in response to reports last week that TSA is reviewing the possibility of ending screening at approximately 150 small airports that offer only regional jet service. That story was first reported by CNN.
“Contrary to recent media reports, TSA will not be eliminating passenger screening at any federalized U.S. airport,” TSA said. “These media reports were based on information from a routine government budget exercise that examines various proposals, and such reporting is misleading and inaccurate. TSA remains committed to improving security, safeguarding our transportation system, and ensuring that over 2.5 million airline passengers get to their destinations safely every day.”
The statement is stronger than those given by TSA last week, after CNN reported on the budget discussions.
“It’s a regular exercise for government to discuss possible ways to be more efficient, but I want to be clear, no decision has been made,” agency spokesman Michael Bilello had said in an Aug. 2 interview.
Bilello explained at that time that the agency would have to conduct a risk assessment before making any decision to pull out of an airport.
Some especially small U.S. airports already offer commercial flights even though they don’t have TSA screening. Since its creation in response to the 9/11 attacks, TSA has defederalized 74 airports, Bilello said, and later refederalized 30 of those.