INFORMATION

Site Map - Airport Security

Government Investigators Smuggle Bomb Components Past Airport Security

- GAO says publicly available parts and knowledge could be used to assemble a bomb during an aircraft flight and do significant damage.

Aviation security

- A new rule proposed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would impose additional requirements on companies that ship cargo via aircraft. The rule would require that companies conduct background checks on workers who handle air cargo but do not operate within a secure area. Currently, only those employees in secure areas of operation are screened. Checks will also be required for all people traveling on an all-cargo aircraft regardless of their job. @ The rule can be found at Security Management Online

Baggage Screening

- A new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO)assesses the effectiveness of explosives detection systems (EDS) and explosives trace detection (ETD) systems installed in airports around the country by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The EDS and ETD machines were in place in most airports by the end of 2003. At the time, airport officials—especially those at small regional airports—expressed concern that the systems were too large to be incorporated into the baggage screening process and were installed as standalone devices in lobbies or other large areas. (See “Flying in the Danger Zone,” June 2002.) In the new report, the GAO tracks this issue of space and concludes that the interim solutions have resulted in inefficient screening practices and led to hiring of more screeners than necessary. Of the 130 airports studied by the GAO for the report, 86 are planning to integrate the EDS machines into baggage conveyor systems. However, the funding for such projects is limited and is beyond the reach of many airports. In the report, the GAO faulted the TSA for failing to conduct an overall analysis of the problem. According to the report, some airports have proven that they could make up the cost in long-term savings and through increased efficiency. @ To read the GAO report, visit Security Management Online.

Aviation security

- Five Fs, 4 Ds, 3 Cs, and 2 Bs. If you brought home a report card like this when you were a kid, you’d be grounded. The U.S. aviation security industry just brought home those grades, but don’t expect planes to be grounded any time soon. The “teacher” handing out these dismal marks is the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA), which brings together the 22,000-pilot-strong union membership of five airlines. The worst grades went to screening cargo, credentialing, crew training in self-defense, missile defense, and employee screening. In comments accompanying the report card, CAPA notes that “near total reliance” on the Known Shippers program for cargo screening is a “serious flaw.” Comments under credentialing note that the Transportation Security Administration has yet to deploy available biometric technology. Here’s the breakdown of grades: Barely receiving a passing grade of D were perimeter security, threat intelligence, federal flight-deck officers on passenger planes, and federal flight-deck officers on cargo planes. Grades of C went to passenger screening, federal air marshals, and classroom training for crew. Faring best, with grades of B, were bag screening and passenger flight-deck doors. “The reinforced doors are installed and appear to be working well,” say the comments accompanying the report card.@ The comments and the report card can be accessed via SM Online.

Secure Flight in Holding Pattern

- A government report, as well as its competing interpretations, has raised questions about when the latest passenger prescreening system for commercial flights will take wing. Secure Flight, the latest iteration of the scuttled Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System II (CAPPS II), must overcome several serious challenges, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). @ Link to the GAO report, the ACLU press release, the Leahy statement, and the Schneier blog via SM Online.

TSA May Have Tipped Agents Off to Security Test

- The Associated Press reports that the Transportation Security Administration appears to have thwarted a security test "by alerting screeners across the country that it was under way, even providing descriptions of the undercover agents."

Airport security

- A bill (H.R. 2688) introduced by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) would require the physical screening of all people, goods, property, vehicles, and equipment before they are allowed into the secure area of an airport. The bill would take effect 120 days after it is enacted. Until the measure took effect, the bill would require that the government conduct random screenings and inspections of such articles. Under the measure, the TSA would be required to report to Congress on ongoing efforts and projected timelines for developing screening standards for airport personnel, assessing available technologies for securing airport perimeters, and developing and implementing a standardized approach for conducting airport vulnerability assessments. H.R. 2688 has eight cosponsors and has been referred to the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Security, and Cybersecurity.patriot act.

Airport Hassles

- A survey polls travelers on airport passenger screening attitudes.

NASA Will Release Airline Survey

- Report was originally suppressed due to NASA fears it would harm the commercial airline industry.

Odd Carry-ons or Probing Attack?

- Experts differ on whether suspicious carry-ons were a terrorist trial run, but they are encouraged that scanners caught the objects.

Foreign Airport Repair Shops Present Security Risks

- Congress and security experts fear terrorists could stash explosives in plane parts and cavities.

Passenger Planes

- A proposed rule requiring passenger screening for private aircraft entering or leaving the United States, has been issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

Airport Security

- A bill (H.R. 1413) that would establish an airport security pilot program to screen airport workers with access to secure and  sterile areas of airports has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee. To proceed, the bill must now be taken up by the full House of Representatives.
 




Beyond Print

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