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Tags: tsa | security | appropriationsbill | lgbtq

Report: TSA Spends $18.6 Million on 'Nonbinary Screening Systems'

By    |   Wednesday, 14 December 2022 06:44 PM EST

The Transportation Security Administration has been spending $18.6 million in funding to develop, test and use "nonbinary screening systems," according to a report obtained by Fox News.

The funding comes from the fiscal year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations fund, the government's annual spending budget. It has been used to improve Advanced Imaging Technology units in airport checkpoints for "increased accuracy and efficiency."

The new tech is expected to roll out in January. In the meanwhile, those who feel pressured to state their gender or have it assumed can request a rescreening before submitting to a pat-down.

TSA data shows it receives 26,542 screening complaints annually. Six percent of those complaints are from members of the LGBTQ community. That is roughly the same percentage of people who identify as LGBTQ, according to the census data from Gallup.

The TSA's executive director for travel engagement, Jose Bonilla, told WCAX Channel 3 News that the clearer imaging technology will reduce the number of pat-downs and complaints from minority groups.

"This technology should really be gender-neutral, you know? It really should be, and we're there," Bonilla said.

The TSA previously restructured its standard operating procedures for security personnel to permit less invasive screening protocols for certain passengers who activate an AIT scanner in "sensitive areas." The change was made to reduce physical contact without compromise and was still in effect up until the TSA's gender-neutral AIT technology was implemented.

In February, TSA removed gender considerations when validating identification. TSA employees no longer consider gender when travelers arrive at the travel document checker podium.

A month later, the TSA announced measures for gender-neutral screenings to accommodate transgender, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming passengers at airport checkpoints.

TSA PreCheck was also refashioned to be more "inclusive," with the option to include an "X" gender marker on the application. In April, TSA began permitting enrollees to self-select their gender regardless of what is listed on a person's identification.

The PreCheck overhaul puts TSA policies in line with the State Department, which announced passports after April 11 would allow "X" as a gender option.

That option is open to all. Other countries such as Canada, New  Zealand and Australia have adopted similar policies.

The agency also launched the Inclusion Action Committee as an official priority in August 2020 to directly advocate for minority and LGBTQ communities.

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The Transportation Security Administration has been spending $18.6 million in funding to develop, test and use "nonbinary screening systems," according to a report.
tsa, security, appropriationsbill, lgbtq
385
2022-44-14
Wednesday, 14 December 2022 06:44 PM
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