Mineta to outline baggage security guidelines
By Kathleen Koch
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- New guidelines have been issued to airlines on how to meet Friday's congressional mandate that all checked bags be screened for explosives, a Department of Transportation spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta is expected to outline the guidelines in a speech Wednesday to the Transportation Research Board.
Mineta is expected to tell airlines they must establish a "multi-layered system of security" that varies from airport to airport and uses security tools. The tools includes the expanded use of a computer-assisted passenger profiling system; manual bag searches; bomb-sniffing dogs; trace detection; and various types of X-ray systems.
Another option: bag matching, meant to ensure that no luggage goes on a plane unless the passenger who checked it is on board.
Carriers warn that such a tactic could cause massive delays if airlines are forced to remove bags every time a passenger misses a connection or is bumped from an overbooked flight. Still, some airlines have said they will rely mostly on bag-matching to meet Friday's deadline.
Critics, including flight attendants, insist bag matching alone won't work.
"You have to allow for the possibility of a suicide bomber, someone who doesn't care if they're on the airplane and it blows up," said Pat Friend, president of the Association of Flight Attendants.
Families of September 11 victims want the airlines to be more accountable for security.
"This is a standard that the airlines have to be held to," said Stephen Push of the advocacy group Families of September 11. Push's wife, Lisa Raines, was among the victims who died when the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
"If they can't implement the procedures by the deadline, then the airline should be shut down until they can do it," he said.
Association of Flight Attendants, AFL-CIO
FAA Home Page
Families of September 11
Delays expected with baggage screening rules - January 14, 2002
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