Pilots avoid patdown, X-ray screening

Nov. 19, 2010 at 8:10 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. security officials said Friday airline pilots will not be subject to advanced X-ray screening or patdowns, which have led to protest among some travelers.

Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole issued a statement saying pilots in uniform on airline business may pass through airport security as long as they present two forms of photo identification, which will be cross-checked against a flight crew database, ABC News reported.

"Allowing these uniformed pilots, whose identity has been verified, to go through expedited screening at the checkpoint just makes for smart security and an efficient use of our resources," Pistole said.

Unions representing pilots had urged members to avoid X-ray screening stations that generate full-body images, and pilots had said the screening made it difficult for them to work because it was so traumatic, ABC reported.

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. -- the ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee -- wrote a letter, along with Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., to Pistole complaining that the new screening procedures are "not achieving the proper balance between aviation security and the privacy rights of United States citizens."

"The level of public angst is a clear indication that the TSA has missed the mark," the letter said.

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