Columbia Fliers May Get Pat-Downs
COLUMBIA - Airport officials confirmed Monday that travelers flying out of the Columbia Regional Airport may be subject to the same enhanced pat-downs that have fliers complaining in other airports. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented the new pat-down procedure at airport security checkpoints nationwide, including Kansas City International Airport, Lambert- St. Louis International Airport and Columbia Regional Airport. No one from the Columbia Regional Airport would comment about the new pat-down procedure, but the airport's web site gives travelers an idea of what to expect.
According to a statement from TSA officials, the pat-downs are to help detect hidden items such as weapons or explosives.
A pat-down is triggered by alarms set off by metal detectors or the Advance Imaging Technology, a screening that allows security agents to see through clothes and locate items not found by the metal detector.
According to the TSA, since the pat-downs are used to resolve alarms and prevent dangerous items from going on the plane, a vast majority of passengers will not receive a pat-down screening.
To prevent an alarm at the security checkpoint the TSA suggests that all passengers take everything out of their pockets, avoid wearing clothing with high metal content and put heavy jewelry on after going through security.
According to the TSA, all passengers can ask for the pat-down to be conducted in a private room, and the passenger may have the pat-down witnessed by a person of their choice. All pat-downs are conducted by a security officer of the same gender, and the officer will explain the procedure before and during the pat-down.
Children also may receive a modified version of a pat-down. The TSA encourages parents to make sure their children do not have any items in their pockets before going through the security check point.