Aviation Security Summit, Day Two, General Session I

Aviation Security Summit, Day Two, General Session I
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Leadership Discussion
Carter Morris, SVP Transportation Security Policy, AAAE
David Aguilar, Deputy Commissioner, U.S. CBP

(written in real-time during the session – please forgive grammatical and structure errors – comments are paraphrased, unless enclosed in quotes)

Aguilar started off by connecting the importance of CBP to the aviation industry as essential partners in counterterrorism.

The system will always be a “work in progress,” said Aguilar, discussing the border protection and aviation security industries,” because they will always adjust to what we do.”

The perspective of border protection has changed – previously, border protection was about methods, maritime, aviation, land – today, it’s about flows. The flow of commerce and personnel which requires a different strategy. “Used correctly, risk management and data management make us safer and more dynamic.”

“We have become managers of information,” said Aguilar about his agency that handles over a billion data lines of information are shared every day. “What we do and how we manage that information is critical to managing the security or our nation.”

CBP is now asking whether they can use the technology and processes beyond security, to assist the 98% of legitimate people and goods that are traveling across our borders – Aguilar believes they can.

Like TSA, CBP is another agency that’s moving towards risk based security – using intelligence and data to focus resources on the small population of individuals who require additional scrutiny. Also, CBP is working towards stopping terrorists and criminals from entering the U.S. early on in the detection process, not at the last point of failure.

Air cargo advanced screening pilot – the impetus for the air cargo screening was the Yemen air cargo bomb plot in October 2010. Aguilar said that it became critical to understand what was coming into the country before it leaves the International departure point. In just four months the pilot program begin screening cargo from 28 different countries in the Middle East. Aguilar however did not address the method of screening.

Aguilar says that the promise of “sooner, safer, cheaper,” has been met but there is more work to do.

Aguilar then expanded briefly on the Beyond the Border Action Plan, which is available on the CBP website. Beyond the Border articulates a shared approach to security in which both countries work together to address threats within, at, and away from our borders, while expediting lawful trade and travel (CBP website).

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