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TSA Beginning to Enforce Drastic Security Regulations

December 29, 2009Written by Kyle P.

On Christmas day, a sick-minded suicidal maniac tried to bring down an international aircraft bound for Detroit. Fortunately, he failed, due in large part to the heroic actions of the passengers and staff of that cursed flight. In response to this attempted terrorist attack, the United States’ Transportation Safety Authority (TSA) has imposed serious pre-flight precautions, such as increased time being searched, and even getting re-searched in the boarding gate. According to a recently leaked internal Security Directive, much more than two rounds of searching will be enforced.

On all domestic and international flights that are landing in America, the following regulations will be strictly enforced:

  1. No getting up to go to the bathroom one hour before arrival.
  2. No electronic devices or items (pillows) can be on your lap one hour prior to arrival.
  3. Any kind of in-flight communication tool (airline supplied phones or TV/movie service) is banned, for the entire flight.
  4. No one may try and access their luggage one hour prior to arrival.

Certainly, these drastic regulations are striking. That means no PSP gaming the last hour of flight. If you have to go to the bathroom, during the last hour of the flight, you are out of luck. While the TSA certainly has to do something, these mainly seem like “we have to do something” regulations, rather than regulations that would actually systematically reduce the chance of a terrorist attack.

The official segment of the Security Directive, that outlines the regulations is below:


1. The aircraft operator or authorized air carrier representative must ensure all passengers are screened at the boarding gate during the boarding process using the following procedures. These procedures are in addition to the screening of all passengers at the screening checkpoint.

1. Perform thorough pat-down of all passengers at boarding gate prior to boarding, concentrating on upper legs and torso.

2. Physically inspect 100 percent of all passenger accessible property at the boarding gate prior to boarding, with focus on syringes being transported along with powders and/or liquids.

3. Ensure the liquids, aerosols, and gels restrictions are strictly adhered to in accordance with SD 1544-06-02E.


1. During flight, the aircraft operator must ensure that the following procedures are followed:

1. Passengers must remain in seats beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.

2. Passenger access to carry-on baggage is prohibited beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.

3. Disable aircraft-integrated passenger communications systems and services (phone, internet access services, live television programming, global positioning systems) prior to boarding and during all phases of flight.

4. While over U.S. airspace, flight crew may not make any announcement to passengers concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks.

5. Passengers may not have any blankets, pillows, or personal belongings on the lap beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.