The TSA Hasn’t Rescinded Checkpoint Photography Policy

Over the past few days rumours have begun running rampant that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has rescinded its policy allowing photography of its security operations and checkpoints … these rumours are false.


The main source for the rumor that the TSA eliminated its policy is due to the agency’s website change over. Many of the links from the old website are now dead links. As the TSA has changed over its new website the link to the photography policy can now be found under How To Get Through The Line Faster … all the way at the bottom.


The TSA’s policy on allowing photography also remains on the agency’s blog under this March 31st 2009 TSA post, Can I Take Photos At The Checkpoint And The Airport?


While the TSA has not altered its policy on photography of its operations and checkpoints, it still asks that photos and video not be shot of its monitors without permission, and reminds people that certain jurisdictions may have restrictions in place preventing photography and that some airports, or terminals within airports, may be privately held (even if by a government entity) that supersedes the TSA’s policy on photography.


So, if you want to document your way through the TSA checkpoint experience, have at it … just make sure you don’t slow up the line and be prepared to be questioned.


If you run into any problems photographing the TSA contact the TSA Ombudsman at +1(571)227-2383, if you are a journalist and run into problems covering the TSA, contact the Public Affairs Office at +1(571)227-2829.


Happy Flying!





  1. Big “no photography or video” signs at EWR yesterday printed by TSA, not NY Airport Authority. Should have snapped a picture…

  2. Matthew,

    Was the sign from TSA, or from DHS in the international area? I have never seen a TSA sign that says no photography, at least not in years. ROA has some up, that look like TSA, but they are old and from the Airport Authority.

    I need to ask TSA about that or NY-PA PA. You know where you saw them?

    Happy Flying!


  3. Unfortunately, the TSA’s policy is whatever the TSO talking with you says that it is. If he says no photography, no photography. If he says that white people can’t fly today, white people can’t fly today.

    There is no real way to get problems resolved by the TSA. They don’t have badge numbers (or at least they won’t share them) or last names. All you get is a first name. And when you contact the TSA to tell them about the problem you had with “Bill at JFK” they’ll just laugh at you.

  4. Funny you should mention ROA (two comments up). I took several pictures of TSA last time I went through the checkpoint at ROA.

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