The federal Transportation Security Administration wants to expand its practice of monitoring passengers for indications of stress, fear or deception.
The agency trains security officers to look at things such as "involuntary physical and psychological distress," said TSA spokeswoman Carrie Harmon.
One way the TSA might expand behavioral observation is by taking over the ticket- and identification-check process that takes place just before entering security - a function now handled by contractors working for airlines.
While the TSA said it would consult with airlines and Congress about that idea, the agency also announced some immediate changes to the security-screening process.
Passengers are now allowed to carry up to 4 ounces of nonprescription liquid medicines onto passenger planes. The TSA also will permit solid lipstick and baby food, but passengers are now required to remove shoes when they go through security.
Complete screening requirements are posted on the agency's website, .
The changes "afford the same level of security that has been in place since last Thursday but are intended to minimize the impact on travelers," according to a TSA press release.
As for psychological screening, the TSA wants to "have a conversation that would enable us to take over the ticket-checker function," Harmon said.
The change would probably be first rolled out in small airports and later extended to large ones, with ticket-checkers trained in behavioral-observation techniques.
The TSA first started using behavioral-observation techniques at Boston's Logan Airport and has since expanded the program to about a dozen airports, mainly in screening areas. Additional teams are being trained and deployed this year.
Travelers on Monday said they understood the additional security measures.
"I feel more safe. I have no problem with them checking me," said Darrell Mills, 60, who was flying back to Tucson after spending a couple of vacation days in Denver.
Elaine Bullock, 47, was a little worried that she would be asked to put her cellphone and laptop into her checked luggage after being singled out for extra screening.
"But I'm glad to see that they're doing the checks," said Bullock, a Denver resident.
All the people in her group had to switch airlines, which was why they were singled out, she said.
Denver Post staff writer Beth Potter contributed to this report.
Staff writer Kelly Yamanouchi can be reached at 303-820-1488 or . -------------------------- What's forbidden in carry-ons
Most liquids, gels and lotions will not be permitted in carry-on baggage. Some common banned items:
Creams and lotions
Lip gels, balms, glosses or liquids
Liquid, gel or spray perfumes or colognes
Nonprescription liquid or gel medicines
Camelbaks and similar liquid- holding backpacks and water bottles
Baby teethers with gel or liquid inside
Children's toys with gel inside
Gel shoe inserts
Eye drops or saline solution, up to 4 ounces
Shoes with gel heels
Baby formula and food, breast milk and other baby items
More online: Complete Transportation Security Administration regulations. denverpost.com
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