Whenever there is an act of air terrorism, the FBI is the lead agency. This has been a source of conflict since the creation of the TSA, which many assume is the lead agency responsible for all aviation security issues. That issue may be coming to a close now that the Senate has confirmed an FBI agent to the top TSA job.
The U.S. Senate fast tracked the confirmation of John Pistole to serve as the next Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. I think the best thing that will come out of this appointment is that Pistole is formerly with the FBI. Not that being with the FBI provides any insights into aviation security or how the aviation industry operates, but the best way to talk to the FBI is by being FBI.
To have a successful aviation security system, it is important to build relationships and work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI is notoriously closed-lipped when it comes to working and playing well with others in the sandbox. Even in my days as a Coast Guard officer working narcotics intelligence, the FBI would work with you on cases, but they always kept something to themselves.
Pistole’s appointment likely means better communications between TSA and the FBI. Although the TSA is prominent in aviation security, whenever there is a hijacking, or bombing or unlawful interference with aviation security the FBI is the lead agency.