Forum Update — August 13,
Protecting the U.S.’s 450 U.S. airports—not to mention
its highways, railroads, mass transit systems,
pipelines, and ports—is an arduous task. The nation’s
transportation defenses are constantly being tested.
Just last week, 18 passengers were arrested for
suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents, and
23 illegally carried firearms were confiscated at TSA
check points. [Resource:
www.tsa.gov — TSA Week at a Glance, August 4-10]
limited resources so you have to focus on high-risk
concerns,” said TSA Assistant Administrator John Sammon,
who briefed AvSec attendees on agency policy and risk
reduction methodology. “You have to be able to act on
the data you collect,” he said, underscoring that
intelligence gathering is not enough. The assistant
administrator also stressed the need for determining
measures of success to evaluate agency efforts.
the wide range of current national transportation
vulnerabilities and risk-reduction actions the agency is
taking to close existing security gaps. He also
discussed the value of engaging with stakeholders to
pool resources and creating layers of security, based on
common interests and goals.
Focus to Passenger Airlines
Formulating strategic plans and policy to engage
stakeholders at the passenger-airline level is the task
of Dave Bernier, general manager for commercial airlines
within the TSA’s Transportation Security Network
Management (TSNM). Bernier works with the 85 existing
airlines, as well as any new entrants to the industry,
to ensure that crucial safeguards are implemented.
The TSA general
manager discussed his responsibility for developing
security directives and networks with industry
stakeholders like ALPA to share information and
coordinate security efforts.
the role of the principle security inspector, pointing
out that a PSI is typically assigned to seven airlines.
He talked about the status of the CrewPASS test project,
which is currently being conducted at the Baltimore
Washington and Pittsburgh International Airports as well
as Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina.
Bernier noted that during the first 26 days of the
60-day test program, more than 10,500 pilots were
processed at the three airports.
Bernier’s presentation, ALPA National Security Council
chairman, Capt. Bob Hesselbein (Northwest), publically
recognized ALPA Engineering and Air Safety manager Jerry
Wright, who originally suggested the idea of using the
cockpit access security system, or CASS, as the basis
Passenger Ops to Cargo
Bernier’s cargo counterpart within the TSNM is Ed
Kelly, who reviewed what will be required to comply with
legislation calling for 100 percent cargo screening on
all passenger aircraft by 2010. Kelly noted that 6,000
tons of cargo are shipped on passenger aircraft daily
and that 87 percent of the cargo originates from the
nation’s Category X, or busiest, airports.
“Once freight is
(initially) screened and secured, how do you confirm
down the chain of custody that it hasn’t been tampered
with?” he asked.
legislative deadline, all cargo will need to be screened
at the piece level by approved TSA methods, and
screening will be conducted at different stages during
the air cargo supply chain. Kelly reviewed current
methods of screening and the resources that will be
In January, the
TSA initiated a test program, using 14 high-volume
freight forwarders at 63 facilities in 18 cities.
Success will depend upon the freight forwarders’ ability
to meet documentation requirements, follow prescribed
processing methods, and accept the terms of the program.
question-and-answer session that followed, ALPA’s
National Security vice-chairman, Capt. Bill McReynolds
(FedEx), commented that the policy, although applauded
by ALPA, needs to be extended to cover all-cargo
Transportation Security from the Outside
Adequately safeguarding the nation’s transportation
infrastructure requires international cooperation. The
TSA networks through bilateral and multilateral foreign
partnerships and capacity-building efforts to enhance
global air transportation security. Spearing heading
these efforts are individuals like Cindy Farkus,
assistant administrator of the TSA’s Office of Global
that OGS is a relatively small operation, with 150
employees, but its outreach efforts extend around the
world, protecting U.S. assets overseas and serving as
the nation’s transportation security liaison. TSA
employees work together with the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security in embassy environments and are
assigned to regions.
“Our goal is to
harmonize transportation security strategies,” she said,
adding that the OGS takes “best practices” to ICAO to
help establish international security policies.