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TSA to make airport screenings more gender-neutral

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WASHINGTON (WPRI) — The Transportation Security Administration is working to improve the screening experience at TSA checkpoints for all passengers.

On Thursday, TSA officials announced new standards for screening transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming airline passengers. Thursday is also Transgender Day of Visibility.

“Over the coming months, TSA will move swiftly to implement more secure and efficient screening processes that are gender-neutral, as well as technological updates that will enhance security and make TSA PreCheck enrollment more inclusive. These combined efforts will greatly enhance airport security and screening procedures for all,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a news release.

TSA officials said they will begin implementing an enhanced screening technology later this year and also plan on changing its operating procedures to reduce the number of pat-down screenings without compromising security.

Additionally, TSA officials say they have removed gender considerations when validating a traveler’s identification at security checkpoints. They are also making the TSA PreCheck more inclusive.

As of Thursday, two major air carriers — American Airlines and United — offer “X” and “U” (undisclosed) gender markers in their travel reservation systems.

The TSA has updated its Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Nonconforming Passengers webpage to provide information to the traveling public on all gender-related updates, including changes to AIT (advanced imaging technology) screening protocols, identity-verification practices, and the TSA PreCheck program.

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