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What Should TSA Funding Include in 2020?

What Should TSA Funding Include in 2020?

The U.S. Administration’s budget request for TSA Fiscal Year 2020 continues to be debated. At first glance, I do not like that agencies like the US Coast Guard and cybersecurity defense are getting less funding and focus. I believe cyber is the largest vulnerability to our country and in reality, it’s not a matter of when we go to cyberwar, it’s a matter of understanding that we’re already in a cyberwar with both nation-states and non-state actors. It’s a battle without end, as I related in a recent blog, “The Real Infinity Wars?

I have not seen the detailed spending plan yet, but there are also expected cuts to the TSA-airport law enforcement officer reimbursement plan and TSA exit-lane staffing. Both cuts would hurt smaller airports, many of which rely on the reimbursement to meet TSA’s police response requirements. Smaller airports also often do not have the revenue needed to take over staffing the exit lanes.

Of particular concern are the cuts to the Essential Air Service program. Although some of the EAS flights aren’t very full and sometimes fly empty (which is bound to happen from time to time), those aircraft fly into large airports, which feed the aviation system and revenues to the airport of origination, the transfer airport and the destination airport.

The FAA’s recent adjustment to allowing the Pilatus PC-12 to conduct EAS flights, instead of the twin-engine requirement, has opened up new routes for the commuter industry. This has kept air service flying into places it ordinarily wouldn’t have. Since the 1,500 pilot rule went into effect, the commuter industry has taken a huge hit as it is, then we lost Great Lakes, that operated with a business model of serving EAS airports. The EAS program needs more funding, not less.

I’m glad to see money going to deploy the computed tomography to the checkpoints as we need better detection technologies in place. If current x-ray machines can’t tell the difference between a hunk of cheese and a hunk of plastic explosives, then we need better machines. The whole point of having x-ray machines was to allow people to keep their items in their bag. Now we’re going in reverse with people having to dump out food, laptops, thick books or papers, and so forth. What’s next, see-through luggage?< Also, before they propose raising the 9/11 security fee, I think they should start using the existing fees for aviation security, the way it was meant to be in the first place. Only time will tell what this administration will choose to fund. The one thing that stands true, additional funding will be needed to continue securing our nation’s aviation and airport industry. Jeff Price Leading Edge Strategies  

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H.R. 6438 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Coordinator Act

H.R. 6438 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Coordinator Act

An interesting update on drone security was recently published by the AAAE Legislative Alliance on the H.R. 6438 DHS Countering Unmanned Aircraft Systems Coordinator Act. Introduced by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) July 18, 2018, the bill would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002, establishing a DHS Coordinator position to: Coordinate the development of policies and plans to… Continue Reading

Enhanced security measures: Ahead of the threats or behind them? 

In the early days of aviation security, passengers had to have their belongings sorted through by a screener. X-ray machines were brought in so that passengers wouldn’t have to have their personal belongings dumped out for all to see, and to make the process faster and more efficient. With the TSA announcement of expansion of… Continue Reading

The High Cost of Security

Recently, an economics professor wrote a short piece for USA Today talking about how TSAs rituals do not make us any safer. While that was the headline, the article posited that we’re probably spending more money than we need to on security. In that respect, Art Carden (the assistant professor of economics at Samform), is… Continue Reading

Are you doing the right thing?

Many airport access control systems are coming up for an upgrade. Many are over 10 years old so it’s about time. Will you integrate biometrics into your next or upgraded access control system? While not presently required by TSA, biometrics provide a significant additional layer of security. Presently, if you do not have biometrics programmed… Continue Reading

Why Shouldn’t Airports Pay for Exit Lane Coverage?

TSA’s recent announcement that they are transferring the guarding of the exit lanes (from the sterile area) from their control to airport control, has caused a lot of heartache throughout the industry, both in terms of policy-making and policy-implemetation. The strategy represents a shift of how TSA has worked with industry since 9/11 and also… Continue Reading