Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole, who will retire from his post at the end of the year, thinks passengers who have been vetted by the agency's PreCheck Program should be allowed to take their bottled water through airport security checkpoints.
Pistole says the move wouldn't happen before he leaves Dec. 31. And it doesn't mean he's backing down from the agency's mission of finding terrorists who want to blow up planes, said the LA Times.
He told an aviation symposium last month: "We know that commercial aviation is still an attractive target to our adversaries, and more specifically, we believe that increasingly sophisticated, nonmetallic IEDs [improvised explosive devices] remain one of the most serious threats to aviation security.
The TSA screens about 640 million passengers and about 2 billion checked and carry-on bags each year, Pistole said.
About 45% of the travelers in the U.S., including flight crew members, receive expedited screening. As of last summer, just 1% of passengers waited more than 20 minutes at airport security lines, the LA Times said.
Pistole also said that his successor should continue the PreCheck program, which has 600,000 members and has been rolled out at 120 airports across the country.