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New, Tougher Screening Rules May Slow Security at Airports

By Keith Reed

The Boston Globe -- Thanksgiving travelers might face long security lines at Logan and other airports, as a rush of travelers is expected to collide with new security rules recently implemented by the Transportation Security Administration.

Since September, the agency has been requiring passengers to remove layers of bulky clothing like heavy sweaters, sweat shirts and even suit jackets during preflight screenings because they might conceal weapons or explosives. Previously, only coats were required to be removed.

TSA toughened its screening methods because of intelligence gathered about possible terror threats and in the wake of suspected terrorist bombings that downed two commercial airliners in Russia this summer, said George N. Naccara, federal security director at Logan. More passengers are also being selected for special “secondary” screenings because the TSA has expanded its list of passengers pre-selected for such screenings in recent months.

-Many frequent fliers are already used to the added measures, he said, but the TSA is talking publicly about the changes now because they fear a rush of occasional travelers during the holidays could complicate the screening process. -

-The changes are “not precipitated by the holidays, but if there are more people subject to the screening, it could take longer,” Naccara said. “Educating the passenger is important because we are still obtaining so many banned items. It’s the infrequent traveler that causes the problem.”

Monday Logan International Airport officials urged passengers to arrive at the airport at least a half-hour earlier than normal when traveling this week.