Aviation Security Summit, Day Two, General Session II
Aviation Industry Perspectives
Jeff Price C.M. Principal, Leading Edge Strategies, Associate Professor, Metropolitan State College of Denver
Stephen Alterman, President, Cargo Airline Association
Duane McGray, Executive Director, Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network
“Beware of people bearing gifts as they might have liability attached,” warned ALEAN director Duane McGray in the last of the public aviation security sessions. McGray addressed earlier issues with TSA joint operating issues with airport law enforcement and the deployment and use of the vapor-wake detection dogs, mentioned yesterday by Congressman Rogers.
McGray clarified that the term “vapor-wake,” was used by Auburn University in the initial pilot studies, but that today the program is formally known as the Passenger Screening Dog Program (PSDP). In the U.S. there was an initial planned deployment of 275 teams and that the United Kingdom has used the program for man years.
McGray stated that of the pilot airports, presently, none of the airports will accept the dog teams after the pilot is over. “It’s not a performance issue, it’s resolution,” said McGray, In the thirty plus year history of K-9 use at airports, when a dog indicated a possible explosive device, the situation was treated as an actual device until determined to be okay. However, with PSDP, when a dog detects an explosive element and tracks down the individual believed to be responsible, a TSA bomb appraisal officer is called, who then interviews the individual, then notifies airport police if they believe further scrutiny is needed. McGray noted that this is the reverse of the existing process.
Steve Alderman discussed the fact that while TSA met the deadlines for 100% all cargo screening in the U.S. but not the international deadlines, was not their fault. “We’re dealing with the governments of sovereign nations.” Alderman believes that it will be 2012 or 2013 before foreign governments can meet the international air cargo screening requirements.
Alderman cautioned attendees that the vaunted air cargo screening program and other initiatives hailed by politicians and regulators over the past day and half are not as far along as stated, but that they `x3c4bvckjfrward.
Both McGray and Alderman noted that the lines of communication with the TSA and the industry are more open than ever before which has improved relationships and processes.