Nov 21, 2010
WASHINGTON — At least one group of air travelers will get a break from the body scans and pat-downs that have provoked a national outcry.
On Friday, the Transportation Security Administration announced that it would let uniformed airline pilots skip the screenings, reversing an earlier policy that everyone had to go through the screenings as part of the agency’s efforts to prevent terrorist attacks. Pilots who are traveling out of uniform or not on official business will still be subject to searches, the agency said.
The full-body scans and pat-downs being performed at a number of airports have angered travelers, many of whom said the searches were invasive and likened them to virtual strip searches. Passengers have also raised concerns about the long-term effect of radiation exposure from airport scanners.
The agency said pilots would still have to pass through a metal detector at airport checkpoints and present two photo identifications that would be verified against a flight crew database.