As a follow-up to last week’s report that the TSA was searching parked valet cars, good ‘ol TSA Bob over at the TSA Blog has responded to the story, flatly denying that the TSA would ever partake in something so heinous (emphasis mine):
It has been reported that TSA Officers at airports are now searching cars. The news started to spread after a story ran this week stating that a woman found a notice informing her that her car had been searched by TSA.
The short version: While we deploy numerous layers of security, TSA officers are not inspecting cars or mandating that they be searched.
In this case, it turns out the car was searched by an employee of a car parking service.
Each airport authority, along with its state and local law enforcement partners, is responsible for securing airport property, including the outer perimeter. At this particular airport, car searches are part of their “airport security plan.”
An airport security plan addresses a myriad of security requirements that each airport must adhere to in order to protect the traveling public, which includes the physical security of the airport property. While the airport security plan is approved by the TSA, it is up to each airport authority and its state and local law enforcement partners to follow the plan that has been implemented.
Bob tries to wash his hands clean of the search by emphasizing that the car was searched by an employee of a car parking service, and not by a TSA agent. If we continue to follow his post-denial explanation, we see that the search is part of that airports “security plan”, which is…approved by TSA!