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Actually, TSA Won’t Stop Screening at Small Airports After All

Airport security remains one of those frustrating but necessary aspects of air travel, no matter your airport of departure. And contrary to a report last week by CNN that the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) was considering no longer performing screenings at small airports.

“Reporting on pre-decisional budget exercises is misleading as it doesn’t reflect the entire process, and certainly doesn’t take into account the dedicated TSA professionals who work tirelessly to assess impact, risk, and feasibility of different scenarios,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske told CBS News through an agency spokesperson.

It was previously reported that the decision to skip security screenings at more than 150 smaller domestic airports could save the agency up to $115 million annually. But TSA sources told CBS News that the plan was never under serious consideration, and was simply part of an exercise in worst-case planning for the agency’s 2020 budget.

TSA has been under scrutiny for different reason recently: for running a surveillance program that monitors air travelers regardless of whether they are suspected or known to have terrorist ties. It’s not clear whether the program, known as Quiet Skies, has successfully stopped any terrorist threats.

While it may not be doing away with any security screenings, TSA has been working to make the process a bit more seamless and a bit less stressful. And, at New York’s JFK Airport, TSA recently teamed up with American Airlines to test a new 3D screening tool to expedite passengers with carryon luggage through security checkpoints.