The Transportation Security Administration started physically screening 100 percent of workers and vehicles entering the airfield at Logan under a 90-day pilot program funded by Congress.
Previously, employees could access the airfield by showing their airport identification badge, which is issued after passing a criminal background check. Now they also need to get out of their vehicles and spread their arms as a TSA agent uses a metal-detector wand to check for guns or other banned items.
"If we're going to scrutinize our customers, it's only sensible that we screen our employees," said Edward Freni, Logan's director of aviation.
The main reason this "sensible" idea has yet to be fully implemented is "a matter of costs," said George Naccara, the TSA's federal security director overseeing Logan. The pilot program puts 43 extra TSA screeners at five airfield checkpoints. Naccara estimated physically screening 100 percent of employees entering the airfield and the airport terminals would require 1,300 more TSA agents, but didn’t know how much that would cost. Currently 900 TSA agents work at Logan.
The pilot program is supposed to determine how much 100 percent screening costs and how it impacts airport operations.
Posted by Nicole C. Wong, Globe Staff