"WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is checking the accuracy of a watch list of suspected terrorists banned from traveling on airliners in the U.S. and will probably cut the list in half, the head of the Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday.
Kip Hawley told Congress that the more accurate list, combined with a new passenger screening system, should take care of most incidents of people wrongly being prevented from boarding a flight or frequently being picked out for additional scrutiny.
A "no-fly" list of suspected terrorists and criminals considered too dangerous to travel on commercial airliners in this country has existed for decades. But since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the list expanded. Tightened security procedures have led to closer scrutiny of air travelers and resulted in many complaints."
"Also Wednesday, the Homeland Security Department launched a new program for passengers who feel wronged to try correcting the list.
The program will give travelers "a clearly-defined process" to report problems, said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in a written statement.
Beginning Feb. 20, the program, dubbed Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, will serve be a central processing point for all inquiries about Homeland Security agencies' databases."