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Conflict Grows Over New TSA Techniques

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 22 Nov 2010 12:07pm | comments
Passengers arrive at the Jackson-Evers International Airport

More than 33-thousand people expected to fly out of the Jackson-Evers International Airport over the Thanksgiving holiday... that is up about 2-percent from last year. Expanded searches at the security check points have sparked angry backlash around the country. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports on the reaction to the screens at Mississippi's largest airport.

The Committee on Homeland Security oversees the TSA, and Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson is currently the chair.

He says he's heard the angry reaction from some passengers who have had enhanced pat downs and blames the TSA for not giving the public enough warning.

"They could have made the case as to why. And they could have brought stakeholders to the table and shared that information with them. My information is that they did not do that and therefore are suffering the consequences of significant indifference from the public in accepting it," Thompson said.

Thompson has had an enhanced pat down and considers them necessary. He does not expect major changes from the TSA.

Some passengers at the Jackson-Evers International Airport expressed doubts about the need for the enhanced pat downs.

Shavilla Adams says she has no problem with being safe, but does not like being touched by the agents.

"I hate that. I don't want to be touched. I am not a terrorist, or a drug dealer, I don't have nothing on me. That's invading my privacy," Adams said she would gladly go through a full body scanner but that is not an option at the Jackson Airport.

Bonnie Wilson who is the Chief Operating Officer at the Jackson Airport says installing the new scanners will require redoing the whole screening area.

"To accommodate the additional equipment, the space that is needed for people to line up and be scanned. To set up those private rooms where the images will be broadcast so that they are not out in the public," Wilson said.

Wilson said with more passengers and additional security procedures, make sure to arrive at the airport extra early if you are flying this holiday.

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Passengers arrive at the Jackson-Evers International Airport


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