DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas (December 20, 2002) –
Introduction: As we approach the end of the year, DFW International Airport will be focusing upon ensuring that we meet or exceed our passenger’s expectations from a customer service perspective. At the same time, we will continue to assist the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on its efforts to screen all checked baggage both here and around the country.
We have been asked by the TSA not to discuss any aspects or specifics of the TSA Plan at DFW due to the sensitive nature of the work. Thus, all questions regarding the plan should be directed to the TSA Public Affairs office in Washington D.C. (202-385-1800).
The statement below and background information provided will serve as DFW's official position on the December 31, 2002 deadline; any other questions or requests for information should be forwarded directly to the TSA:
DFW and the TSA are diligently pursuing a long-term solution that will incorporate the screening of all checked baggage into the airlines’ baggage-handling systems to further enhance security and increase customer service. This long-term solution is part of the one-year flexibility granted by Congress to the TSA to work with larger airports to complete these major construction projects and install new equipment and technology.
The timetable for the plan is security sensitive; however, DFW remains committed to helping ensure that the TSA can complete it in a timely and expeditious manner.
In the interim, the TSA has developed and will be deploying screening plans at all of our facilities. These interim screening plans are designed around congressionally-approved methods of screening baggage. These interim plans include a layered approach of inspection involving EDS, ETD, random physical inspections, canine patrols, enhanced bag match, and other tools that may not be visible to the travelers. This layered approach was designed to ensure that the traveling public receives a comprehensive and enhanced level of security, while ensuring the traveling public is not unnecessarily inconvenienced from a customer service perspective.
DFW Airport and the TSA's December 31, 2002 baggage screening deadline
All airports across the country, without exception, are unequivocally committed to continuing to enhance security throughout our aviation system.
As it relates to DFW Airport, there is not an airport in this country that is more committed to enhancing security. We will continue to work with the TSA to ensure that security remains a top priority, as does customer service.
After Congress passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act in the fall of 2001, with full DFW support, DFW became the first airport in the country to begin studying how to successfully implement the best solution for baggage screening in its facilities. In fact, the Airport spent $3 million of its own money and determined that a fully-automated 'in-line baggage screening' system could become part of the airlines' baggage handling system and would be the optimal solution for DFW.
DFW was then the first airport in the country that brought a solution to the TSA back in April and would have met the original December 31, 2002 deadline.
Due to a variety of factors, the TSA was not in a position to accept the plan. Fortunately, the TSA ultimately concluded that this plan provides the best level of security and the highest level of customer service; therefore, the Airport’s original plan, now serves as the basis for the long-term solution that will ultimately be implemented at DFW.
Recognizing that the TSA could not deploy many of these in-line systems by the December 31, 2002 deadline without imposing interim plans leading to unacceptable long lines and corresponding passenger delays, DFW worked closely with 143 Airports other airports across the country to obtain the additional time for TSA to be successful. This group was nominally knows as the Airport Alliance which collectively serves more than 462 million passengers in the U.S. (representing 74 percent of all passengers in the U.S.) As a result of this effort and with the critical leadership of many of our North Texas delegation, Congress agreed with the Airport Alliance and subsequently provided the necessary flexibility to the TSA in the Homeland Security Bill.
Located halfway between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW International Airport is the world's third busiest, offering nearly 2,000 flights per day and serving 55 million passengers a year. DFW International Airport provides non-stop service to 130 domestic and 31 international destinations worldwide.
Editor's Notes: This release, and past news releases issued by DFW International Airport, are available online at www.dfwairport.com in the “MediaSite” section.
For the latest news, real-time flight information, parking availability or details regarding the many services provided at DFW International Airport, log on to www.dfwairport.com. To arrange interviews, contact DFW Public Affairs at 972 574 NEWS (6397) or Ken Capps, APR, Vice President Public Affairs, email@example.com.