Sunday, November 05, 2006

TSA Oddity at SFO - Updated!

A while back I asked Fed Files readers to keep an ear out for new frequencies that might be used by the Transportation Security Administration. Well, I found a new one, but not quite what I was expecting!

While changing planes at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) I had time to run my Uniden 396 scanner in Close Call mode and found the TSA operating on 469.5000 MHz, DPL 023! I confirmed that many, but not all, TSA personel were carrying UHF Motorola Radius or similar model hand-held radios. I was also able to confirm the transmissions I was hearing were from the TSA checkpoint near my gate. I was not able to see if they were using any additional UHF frequencies.

So what's up with that? I assumed that all the TSA operations had gotten their P-25 VHF radios long ago, but maybe they are awaiting new model radios. I have noticed that some TSA operations have newer XTS radios than were originally issued.

Oh, and I was able to confirm that 170.6250 MHz P-25 is the Customs & Border Protection operations for International Arrivals at SFO.

UPDATE - I was reminded by several members of the Fedcom e-mail list about the fact that the screeners at SFO are not really TSA, but work for a sub-contractor, in this case Covenant Aviation Security. If the federal contract with the TSA does not provide for radios to be supplied, I guess the contractor is responsible.