The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) revealed on Friday it is “processing hundreds of names with law enforcement agencies for a thorough risk assessment” to determine if they should be barred from flying as agencies scramble to ramp up security ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s (D) inauguration.
“Currently, TSA is processing hundreds of names with law enforcement agencies for a thorough risk assessment,” TSA administrator David Pekoske said in a statement, according to CNBC.
Pekoske added that the agency’s “intelligence and vetting” professionals are “working diligently around the clock to ensure those who may pose a threat to our aviation sector undergo enhanced screening or are prevented from boarding an aircraft.”
Following the riot, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents some 50,000 cabin crew members at more than a dozen airlines, raised safety concerns about “mob mentality behavior” on some flights to Washington D.C. last week and said people who participated in the riot should be prohibited from flying.
The FAA promised it will take a zero tolerance policy for unruly behavior on flights and that it will fine them up to $35,000.
The review coincides with mass street closures in the nation’s capital in the days ahead of what is slated to be an unconventional Inauguration Day, with heavy restrictions in the city, including the closure of the National Mall.
Major airlines are also barring passengers flying into the area from putting firearms in checked bags, as the AP reported this week:
Delta Air Lines was the first to announce Thursday that it will prohibit checking guns to Washington-area airports and was followed later in the day by United, Alaska, American and Southwest. All said their bans will start Saturday and run through Inauguration Day until Jan. 23.
FBI Washington Field Office Assistant Director in Charge Steven D’Antuono revealed this week the FBI is “actively looking” at putting the participants of the January 6 Capitol riot on a “No-Fly-List,” a move Sen. Chuck Schumer supports (D-NY).
“We cannot allow these same insurrectionists to get on a plane and cause more violence and more damage,” the New York Democrat said.
The mass security measures follow the January 6 Capitol protest, which put D.C., already under strict coronavirus-related restrictions, on further edge.
As many as 25,000 members of the National Guard will be in the city on January 20.