This past Friday, the 17th of October 2014, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented directive MD 100.5 in response to the Ebola fears spreading throughout the United States. MD 100.5, the Do Not Board Due To Threat To Public Health directive is not a new directive, former TSA Administrator Kip Hawley originally implemented it on the 11th of January 2008, however it had fallen by the wayside.
The TSA’s directive in response to a public heath threat while handled by the agency is not actually controlled by the agency. Neither there TSA nor the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can add people to the list. Those deeper a threat to public health can only be added by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) directly, not by a local, state or regional health agency.
The process for adding someone to the Do Not Board List is not a quick or easy process, as one would imagine should be a priority when a public health outbreak occurs. The process must begin with the CDC, then pass through Health & Human Services DOC, then onward to the Department of Homeland Security’s National Operations Center, before being handed off to the TSA’s Assistant Secretary who gives it to the Transportation Security Operations Center (TSOC), before finally being implemented by the TSA.
It would seem by the time someone could be added to the Do Not Board List, with all the steps in place, they would likely either be dead or cleared of the disease.
… additionally … as the TSA is begin to reinstate MD 100.5, they have also issued a more practical directive, that all TSA Transportation Security Officers (TSO), including the Travel Document Checkers (TCD) you hand your boarding pass and identification to, must now wear gloves. Sure, many TSOs already generally wear gloves, but now it is a directive in place for the interest of public health.
Happy Flying … and remember … don’t lick your seatmate.