10/12/2009

The case of a runaway Oregon teen has focused media attention on a so-called "loophole" in aviation security: Children under the age of 18 can board flights without ID. But TSA officials insist the rules have no impact on safety. Agency spokesman Dwayne Baird admits screeners must make a judgment call regarding a passenger's age, but with or without a driver's license, "Every passenger regardless of age is properly screened through multiple layers of security and deemed not to be a threat to aviation security before getting on a flight." Despite some calls for a crackdown, the airline industry also is comfortable with the current rules. "While we do try to be involved in some of the TSA's decisions, it's from a customer convenience and a carrier facilitation perspective," says a spokesman for the Air Transport Association. "We leave the safety and security aspects up to the TSA."

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