Approximately 1.2 million people fly within the United States every day. To keep these passengers safe, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employs a multilayer security system to ensure that the traveling public and the nation’s transportation systems are protected. The Behavior Detection (BD) program serves an essential function in this multilayered security approach. Unique from other security capabilities within the TSA security system, the BD program, which was previously reserved for Behavior Detection Officers (BDOs) but is now comprised of Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) as well, trains officers to identify anomalous behaviors by observing passengers and comparing what they see to an established behavioral baseline. The goal of the program is to identify high-risk travelers and subject them to additional screening. This report describes the results of an empirical study that addressed these research goals and furthered DHS S&T’s understanding of the visual search process required for successful BD performance.
Last Published Date: March 13, 2019