WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is denying reports that it is now searching cars at U.S. airports but admitted that cars may be searched at airports by other agencies or individuals, like valet services.
According to Bob Burns, a TSA communications official, “It’s has been reported that TSA Officers at airports are now searching cars. The news started to spread after a story ran this week stating that a woman found a notice informing her that her car had been searched by TSA. The short version: While we deploy numerous layers of security, TSA officers are not inspecting cars or mandating that they be searched.”
Burns claims that each airport authority, along with its state and local law enforcement partners, is responsible for securing airport property, including the outer perimeter.
He claims that at some airports, car searches are part of their “airport security plan.”
“In this case, it turns out the car was searched by an employee of a car parking service,” Burns said, describing how some cars may be searched at an airport.
“An airport security plan addresses a myriad of security requirements that each airport must adhere to in order to protect the traveling public, which includes the physical security of the airport property,” Burns said. “While the airport security plan is approved by the TSA, it is up to each airport authority and its state and local law enforcement partners to follow the plan that has been implemented.”
One critic claimed that while the TSA may not be searching cars themselves, they are directing others to do so.
“Why is the TSA giving orders to search cars? If it is so important for safety, why isn’t the TSA doing it themselves, rather than relying on valets who can’t possibly have the same training the TSA screeners have?”