Times Square case: US orders airlines to du manual check two hours before flight

May 6th, 2010 - 12:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 6 (ANI): It may now get harder for terror suspects to get on an airplane, at least in theory.

According to a Christian Science Monitor report, all airlines will be required to manually recheck their passenger lists within two hours of being notified of a “special circumstances expedited No Fly name.”

This Obama administration order follows the arrest of Pakistani-American terror suspect Faisal Shahzad for trying to blow up a sport utility vehicle in New York’s Times Square on Saturday evening.

Shahzad showed up at the airport without a reservation and paid cash for a ticket to leave the United States immediately. The airline seemingly didn’t check the name, and the suspect was allowed to purchase a ticket and obtain a boarding pass.

Official sources now say that in the coming months, the process will change more because it will not be the airlines that will be checking the no-fly list.

Three years ago, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began preparing to take over this responsibility from the airlines. The program is called Secure Flight.

According to the administration official, TSA will prescreen passenger information against the list for all domestic flights within the next two months. It will prescreen international passengers by the end of 2010.

Under Secure Flight, TSA processes information beginning up to 72 hours in advance of a flight and then vets the passenger list until the flight departs.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some 3,400 names, including about 170 Americans, are on the no-fly list.

The no-fly list has been somewhat controversial in the past. Once an individual’s name got on the list, perhaps inadvertently, he or she has found it difficult to get off the list.

Civil libertarians complained about “false positives” and harassment.

David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, said he thought the two-hour rule is a good idea.

“They need to make the security even tighter to make sure it does not happen again. It might inconvenience some people, but it’s a necessity for security,” he said. (ANI)

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