The agency wants to make better use of a limited resource - airport screeners, whose numbers have been capped by Congress at 45,000. The TSA handles security for 450 commercial airports.
Among the changes TSA said it is considering:
_Hire more people to take baggage-handling responsibilities from screeners so the screeners can focus on security responsibilities.
_Have screeners, instead of contract employees hired by airlines, check IDs and boarding passes.
_Expand a program that trains screeners to look for unusual behavior in passengers that might indicate malicious intent. Called SPOT - Screening Passengers by Observation Technique - it's used in at least 12 airports, Howe said.
Those changes may require approval by Congress and agreement with airports and the airline industry, which might have to bear some of the cost, Howe said.
The government's new order that all airline passengers put their shoes through X-ray machines won't help screeners find a liquid or gel that can be used as a bomb.
The TSA ordered the shoe-scanning requirement as it fine-tunes new security procedures.
X-ray devices show carry-ons in 3-D