Aviation and Transportation Security Act

Aviation and Transportation Security Act

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA, USPL|107|71 November 19, 2001) was enacted by the 107th United States Congress in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Act created the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) within the U.S. Department of Transportation. However, with the passage of the Homeland Security Act, the TSA was later transferred to the Department of Homeland Security. The legislation (S. 1447) was sponsored by Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings and co-sponsored by 30 other Senators.

Prior to the Act, security screening was largely the responsibility of each airport. Counter agents asked three questions of passengers checking luggage:
*Did you pack your bags yourself?
*Have your bags been in your possession since you packed them?
*Have any unknown persons asked you to carry anything on board?Visitors had to pass through metal detectors and have their carry-on luggage X-rayed before entering the concourses, but X-raying of personal items was not required. A boarding pass did not have to be presented at the checkpoint, as non-travellers were allowed to enter the concourses.

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