A new layer of airport security aimed at screening passenger behavior will begin testing Tuesday at Boston's Logan International Airport.
The Transportation Security Administration will train screeners on sparking more conversations between screeners and passengers at Logan's Terminal A security checkpoint -- a first-in-the-nation initiative modeled after Israel's enhanced airport screening methods.
"TSA has long recognized the value of a layered, threat-based approach to transportation security and the need to focus more of our resources on people who potentially pose a threat to aviation safety in addition to the system's current focus on high-risk items," TSA spokesman Greg Soule told Fox News.
Under the new program -- part of a nearly $1 billion national program called the Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT -- behavior officers will ask passengers non-intrusive questions and look to see how passengers respond. Those who exhibit suspicious behavior like avoiding eye contact and struggling with answers will be pulled aside for more screening.
"The advanced training the officers receive includes both classroom and on-the-job experience designed to enhance their communication skills and engage in conversations with passengers to verify or dispel suspicious behavior and anomalies," Soule said.
"The vast majority of passengers will experience a 'casual greeting' conversation with a behavior detection officer after they provide their ID and boarding pass," he said. "A small portion of passengers may get selected for an extended, but still limited conversation."
Around 60 TSA officers are scheduled to take part in the training.
Logan is the first airport in the nation to roll out the pilot program, which is targeted to officially begin in mid-August.
TSA will evaluate how this pilot program impacts security, screening operations and passenger flow. The results will determine how the agency proceeds with the program.
Fox News' Mike Levine and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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