New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg has introduced legislation to address security breaches at the nation’s airports. The new law would:
… Mandate use of security cameras at all airport terminal checkpoints and secure-area exits and require regular testing to ensure they’re working.
… Create a federal civil penalty of up to $10,000 for intentionally breaching airport security and a criminal penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
… Require the Transportation Security Administration to review its prevention measures.
Okay, first, under Title 49 CFR Part 1503 and 1540 there is already a fine structure in place for individuals who violate security measures. Why do we need another one?
Second, security cameras were in place at Newark where the breach occurred, it just wasn’t operable, apparently due to maintenance. If that security camera location and functionality is part of the Airport Security Program as approved by the TSA, then the TSA, under Part 1503 can go after the airport with a fine. Again, why re-invent this wheel by legislating what’s already legislated?
The third element, review of procedures. From what has been publicized the breach occurred because a TSA employee became distracted by another passengers question. What’s to review – if someone asks you a question, either defer them to the information booth, or answer it while continuing to watch the checkpoint.
Again, here we are after another terrorist attack/attempt, and Congress decides to take action without direction so it looks like we’re doing something. We have to much of this in aviation security, looking like we’re doing something without actually doing it. Too bad the bad guys are doing it the other way around. Perhaps some of these Congressional staffers who do the actual policy making, should pick up a book on aviation security and read how the system works sometime – I can make some recommendations if they’d like.