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    TSA Eases Some Air Traveler Restrictions...But All Passengers Must Remove Shoes; Shoes To Be X-Rayed With Carry-On Bags

    (August 13, 2006) -- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today (Aug. 13) issued new -- and in some respects eased -- restrictions on air travelers.

    In a written release, the agency said it will now "permit small doses of liquid medications through the security checkpoint and onboard airplanes" but will also now "require all passengers to remove their shoes so they may be X-rayed with their carry-on bags to enhance efficiency in the screening process and eliminate confusion for travelers."

    "The refinements we are announcing are based on feedback from our security officers, the public and our partners. We are maintaining the same level of security while clarifying interpretations in the field. These tweaks are aimed at making a smoother process at the checkpoint," said Kip Hawley, TSA Assistant Secretary.

    The TSA release continued: "The most significant changes to the security measures include mandatory shoe screening for all travelers and the admission of up to 4 oz. of non-prescription medicine. This refinement affords the same level of security that has been in place since last Thursday, but is intended to minimize the impact on travelers. Travelers will continue to see an increase in visibility and use of canine detection teams.  Random gate inspections and bag searches will continue.  More information and further clarification on the ban will be offered via updated airport signs and in "Our Travelers " section of the TSA website.

    TSA originally implemented a ban on all liquids, gels and lotions following the overseas arrests of a number of extremists engaged in a plot to destroy multiple passenger aircraft flying from the United Kingdom to the United States. The U.S. threat level remains at Severe, or Red, for commercial flights originating in the U.K. bound for the U.S.; all other flights operating in or destined for the U.S. remain at High, or Orange.

    Travelers are reminded to contact their individual airlines for information on airport arrival times.

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