Aviation Security Summit General Session IV

Aviation Security Summit General Session IV
GAO’s Perspectives on Transportation Security
Sarah Pilli, Manager, Transportation Security Policy, AAAE
Stephen Lord, Director, Homeland Security & Justice Issues, GAO

(written in real-time during the session – please forgive grammatical and structure errors – comments are paraphrased, unless enclosed in quotes) (GAO-11-238T)

GAO Reports for this year:
Harmonizing U.S. International Aviation Security Standards (Dec 2, 2010)
TSA’s Behavior Detection Program (SPOT) April 6, 2011 (GAO 11-461T)
Setting Checked Baggage Explosive Detection Requirements (GAO-11-740), July 11, 2011
Airport Perimeter and Access Control (GAO-11-938T), Sep 16, 2011
TSA’s Foreign Airport Assessment (GAO-12-163), Oct 21, 2011
TSA Information Sharing – Awareness and usefulness of Disseminated information (GAO-12-44) Nov 21, 2011
TSA’s Transportation Worker Security Threat Assessments, (GAO-12-60), Dec 8, 2011

GAO is currently working on:
Currently looking at General Aviation – Alien Vetting at U.S. Flight Schools
Screening Partnership Program comparison of private and federal screening performance
Screening of inbound air cargo (looking at TSA’s mandate on screening 100% of cargo)
AIT program
Canine Certification and Training (assess the process of certifying dogs)

Future work:
TWIC access control technologies
TSA Behavior Detection (SPOT II)
TSI Workforce, how deployed and utilized
Risk-based screening
Bomb Appraisal Officer
Air cargo explosives detection technologies

Questions
Portland: questions on the future of the use of canines at airports – both the issue of TSA’s proprietary teams, and the canine teams that are used by airport law enforcement.

The industry issue here is that the previous model for canine use at airports, was that the airport provided local police, who were sent to training with the FAA and issued an explosive detecting K-9. In the late 2000’s, TSA begin training and deploying their own canine explosive detection teams, in addition to the airport teams. Some airport operators feel that this has created overlap of responsibility and span of control and caused confusion.

It seems that GAO’s report will focus more on the effectiveness on canine teams, rather the responsibility and control.

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