Aviation Security: Progress Being Made, but Long-Term Attention is Needed

Aviation Security: Progress Being Made, but Long-Term Attention is Needed

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    NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Safety/Airworthiness
  • Abstract:
    This is the statement of Keith O. Fultz, Assistant Comptroller General, Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division before the Subcommittee on Aviation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives. Currently the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), other federal agencies, and the aviation industry are implementing a number of recommendations made by the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, which was formed after the crash of TWA flight 800. Some of these recommendations are similar to legislative mandates the Congress enacted under the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996, and FAA is also addressing them. In summary, FAA has made some progress in five critical areas as recommended by the Commission and mandated by the Congress, but given the current implementation schedule, it will take years for FAA and the aviation industry to fully implement the initiatives. These five initiatives are passenger profiling, explosives detection technologies, passenger-bag matching vulnerability assessments, and the certification of screening companies and the performance of security screeners. While progress is being made in strengthening aviation security, the completion of the current initiatives will require additional financial resources and a sustained commitment by the federal government and the aviation industry. Congressional oversight and commitment are important in order to ensure that the momentum for increasing aviation security is not lost.
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