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TSA Screening Procedures at IAH and HOU


The Houston Airport System wants travelers to be aware of the TSA checkpoint screening procedures at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU).

Advanced Imaging Technology

Houston was selected as one of the first airports to introduce a new technology known as “Advanced Imaging Technology” (AIT). 

When you arrive at a checkpoint where AIT is in operation, TSA staff will ask you to enter the unit with your feet slightly spread apart and your arms raised overhead. While you are in this specified position, a scan of your image allows TSA staff to better detect threats such as weapons, explosives or other objects which may be concealed under layers of clothing.

Trained screeners review the x-ray type image in a separate room, but TSA officials stress that no image is ever stored for any reason and each passenger can opt for a different method of screening, should they feel uncomfortable with the AIT units.

TSA Enhanced Pat-Downs

TSA began a new security screening technique that is more thorough as an enhanced pat down.

The enhanced pat-down may be performed by TSA agents on a random basis or when someone prefers to have a “pat-down,” rather than being scanned in the AIT or full body scanner.

Either way, if a TSA agent indicates that an enhanced pat-down is required, they will use their hands to check a passenger, rather than using the metal-detecting wand to inspect the passenger from head to toe to check for threats such as weapons, explosives or other objects which may be concealed under layers of clothing. When a TSA agent performs this procedure, they will explain in advance the steps they will take. The traveling public always has the option to ask for a private screening should a person not want to have this measure done in a public place.

TSA offers a “modified pat-down” for children 12-years-old and under who require the additional screening.

For more information, go to www.TSA.gov

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