Members will hear testimony on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2005 budget request, cargo security, the progress of the enhanced Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-screening System (CAPPS) and the status of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) letters of intent (LOI) with airports regarding security infrastructure. Senator McCain will preside. Following is a tentative witness list (not necessarily in order of appearance):
Witness Panel 1
The Honorable Asa Hutchinson
Chairman McCain, Senator Hollings, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ongoing work to improve civil aviation security. Almost 3 years after the events of September 11th, 2001, there may be a tendency to forget that the U.S. civil aviation system was turned into a weapon and used against us. Although we each have stories about being inconvenienced by airport security screening, it is paramount that we remember what happened on 9/11 in order not to become complacent. We have accomplished a great deal in just a short time, and yet we at the Border and Transportation Security Directorate (BTS) continue to strive to improve all facets of our aviation security operations. We draw upon the collective experience and resources of the BTS component agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and US-VISIT, as well as the information, insight, and expertise of other DHS agencies, to drive our progress forward. Today, I would particularly like to focus on BTS agency efforts on several fronts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of passenger aviation security. As Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security, I am coordinating efforts throughout the BTS Directorate to develop complementary plans to facilitate travel during the anticipated busy summer travel season. Security is our most significant concern, but at the same time, we are committed to accomplishing our security mission while providing an affordable balance between security and efficiency and facilitating the freedom of movement for people and commerce. With passenger enplanements near pre-September 11 levels and in the midst of the busy summer traveling season, we are focusing our attention on how to provide effective security as efficiently as possible. I will now provide a general overview of TSA, CBP and US-VISIT efforts in this regard. TSA has established a comprehensive, layered strategy for aviation security incorporating intelligence, screening, regulation, inspection, enforcement, and education. CBP uses a similarly layered approach to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the - 1 - country through U.S. ports of entry, including airports. US-VISIT enhances aviation security by verifying the identity of visitors with visas, expediting the entry/exit process while enhancing the integrity of our immigration system and respecting the privacy of our visitors. ICE contributes to aviation security as host to the Federal Air Marshal Service, and by carrying out its investigative and enforcement responsibilities for Federal immigration, customs, and air security laws. TSA, with my approval, has developed and implemented an Aviation Partnership Support Plan (APSP) for instituting best practices that serve us well not only for the busy summer period, but also beyond. I am pleased to report that TSA’s efforts to date, including the busy Memorial Day weekend, have been successful. Although airports have experienced the highest number of passengers since the summer of 2001, TSA’s careful planning in partnership with air carriers, airport operators, and the passengers themselves is paying off, increasing screening throughput at all airports while assuring the same high level of security that the Nation expects. Over the Memorial Day weekend TSA began a multi-level program to increase passenger throughput at U.S. airports. This includes a focus on specific airports requiring special attention. In planning for the summer travel season, TSA built upon nearly two years of experience with high peak travel periods, working with the Air Transport Association, the Airports Council International-North America, and the American Association of Airport Executives to develop a plan that deals proactively with a wide range of challenges posed by the summer travel period. The normal increase in air travel occasioned by summer vacation plans is only one dynamic that is factored into TSA’s planning, and TSA is mindful that the summer period will require the agency to sustain robust operations over a longer period than during the winter holiday season. A number of special events scheduled for the summer months will require particular attention, not only because they will increase the concentration of travel to particular airports for short periods of time, but also because the nature of the events may attract the attention of those who wish to do us harm. TSA has distributed a guidebook to airport Federal Security Directors (FSDs) and other TSA airport staff detailing "best practices" covering a comprehensive range of techniques to speed and enhance throughput at the screening checkpoints. The guidance is easy to understand and use and will be amended as techniques are refined and improved. As part of the APSP, we identified twenty-five "focus airports" for special attention. These airports warrant particular examination for a variety of reasons that have an impact on the level of traffic through the airport—size, proximity to special events that may be threat targets, or proximity to high-traffic summer vacation destinations. At the focus airports, we are coordinating with our stakeholders to provide additional resources to support the screening process, such as exit lane monitors, queue handlers, or ticket checkers. TSA also provides additional staffing to support screening utilizing headquarters personnel and administrative staff in the field on a temporary basis. Also, our National Screening Force is being mobilized as necessary. - 2 - Since the release of the APSP, FSDs have initiated discussions with their airport and local air carrier stakeholders to determine which best practice opportunities can be implemented locally. Many airports submitted their plans early, demonstrating the commitment from all parties to collaborate on reducing summer wait times. Our industry partners are undertaking a wide range of initiatives from funding part-time non-screener support for the checkpoint and queuing lines to assisting TSA with local outreach programs to providing more space surrounding the checkpoint for passengers to ready themselves for screening. For example, at Chicago O’Hare, the airport is removing some queue space to add additional divestiture tables. At Fort Lauderdale, air carriers are providing personnel to assist in managing the queues at checkpoints throughout the airport. At Logan International Airport in Boston, TSA is using the materials provided in the APSP to enhance and clarify training for screeners in checkpoint screening procedures, and Logan already supplements TSA screening by providing exit lane monitors. At Logan, Massport is an extremely important partner in our security efforts. Every morning, TSA, Massport, airlines, airport concessionaires, and other governmental stakeholders convene to discuss and resolve operational issues at the airport. TSA also meets weekly with Massport and the airlines to project passenger volumes, helping TSA efficiently schedule screener resources and prepare for the activity levels in the immediate days ahead. TSA also recognizes the importance of educating summer travelers and helping them prepare for what can be expected at our busy airports during this high travel season and is conducting national and local media campaigns to help prepare summer travelers to do their part in easing traffic through our Nation’s airports. TSA is expanding existing passenger outreach efforts with a more comprehensive passenger assistance program, called READY-SET-GO, to dispense advice to travelers and to increase awareness of procedures that will speed up throughput. First, this campaign instructs passengers to start getting READY for travel at home, by packing and dressing in a way that will expedite processing through x-ray machines and magnetometers, and getting information about how long it will take to get to the airport, park, check in, and check baggage. Second, passengers are encouraged get SET for screening by arriving at the screening checkpoint with identification and boarding pass accessible, placing carry-on items on the X-ray belt, and listening to the guidance of the screener regarding divestiture of metal items and shoes. Third, guidance instructs passengers to GO through the magnetometer; listen to instructions for a second pass through the magnetometer, if necessary; retrieve property; quickly move away from the screening area if waiting for other passengers; and proceed to the departure area. To ensure wide dissemination to travelers, the passenger guidance is posted on TSA’s website, and TSA works with the airlines to continue providing updated travel support information to passengers on carriers' websites. Our expectation is that these best practices should be maintained for the benefit of security and efficiency, even after the summer travel season is over. - 3 - To facilitate travel and ensure security for passengers entering the U.S. on international flights, CBP is promoting a "know before you go" campaign, which targets both the US and foreign travelers to educate them on CBP processes, document requirements for entry into the US, and limitations on bringing items into the country. In addition, CBP has posted information on the web about these requirements and restrictions. The goal of the campaign is to prevent confusion and educate travelers to facilitate processing upon arrival. Since the creation of the Department, we have provided CBP with the ability to assign resources to address critical needs during the summer months. This support has included providing training to 1960 CBP Customs Inspectors from 55 airports to be placed in primary inspections booths to process the entry of US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents into the country. More than 7000 CPB Immigration and Customs Inspectors and Supervisors have been given additional training in fraudulent document detection, and in May of 2004, 48 employees from Houston and Los Angeles were trained as part of a prototype for Full Unified Primary at airports. The goal of Full Unified Primary is to train all CBP Customs Inspectors in the air environment to work all lanes in the primary booth. Houston and Los Angeles will begin to fully implement the training in their airports by the end of June 2004. By the end of June 2004, an additional 20 large airports will have trainers and material to begin implementation of Full Unified Primary. By the end of July 2004, another 20 large airports will have trainers and material to begin implementation of Full Unified Primary. Similar to TSA’s efforts to reinforce TSA field staff training with information on best practices, CBP has issued guidance to its field offices to be aware that summer travel will increase passenger counts, and that requirements such as US-VISIT, National Security Entry Exit Registration Systems (NSEERS), and refugee processing could cause delays. Specifically, CBP port managers have been directed to develop and implement mitigation strategies if wait-times reach unacceptable levels due to US-VISIT; have been instructed to stress the importance of always exercising professionalism and to treat each passenger with dignity and respect; and are permitted to open additional lanes and apply resources to minimize delays. CBP is also making use of the K-9 program, APIS, the National Targeting Center, and Port of Entry Passenger Analysis Units to screen passengers prior to arrival at primary inspection lanes. This effort allows CBP's highly trained workforce to apply risk management to be better able to focus on high-risk travelers and allow low risk travelers to be processed more rapidly. For longer-term enhancement of aviation security and facilitation of air travel into and out of the United States, CBP is exploring alternatives to facilitate the entry of bona fide visitors to the United States, mainly in the business community, who have made several visits to the United States and have proven themselves to be low risk. Two important building blocks in that effort include CBP’s use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) information and Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) data under the Automated Targeting System – Passenger (ATS-P). - 4 - The reception of advanced passenger information is a tremendous tool for CBP. It allows CBP to develop intelligence information on potential threats to national security prior to their arrival. These efforts will allow CBP officers to focus more closely on identified potential threats, while facilitating the expeditious processing of bona fide travelers. Last month, working with a broad coalition of interagency partners, BTS finalized an important agreement with the European Union that permits the legal transfer to DHS of advanced passenger name record (PNR) data from airlines flying between EU countries and the United States. The purpose of our negotiations was to obtain an adequacy finding, under the European privacy directive, which allowed CBP to receive PNR data from major airlines. PNR data is an essential tool in allowing CBP to accomplish its key goals: (1) PNR data helps us make a determination of whether a passenger may pose a significant risk to the safety and security of the United States and to fellow passengers on a plane; (2) PNR data submitted prior to a flight's arrival enables CBP to facilitate and expedite the entry of the vast majority of visitors to the U.S. by providing CBP with an advance and electronic means to collect information that CBP would otherwise be forced to collect upon arrival; and (3) PNR data is essential to terrorism and criminal investigations by allowing us to link information about known terrorists and serious criminals to co-conspirators and others involved in their plots, including potential victims. Sometimes these links may be developed before a person’s travel but other times these leads only become available days or weeks or months later. In short, PNR enables CBP to fulfill its anti-terrorism and law enforcement missions more effectively and allows for more efficient and timely facilitation of travel for the vast majority of legitimate travelers to and through the United States. Another important tool is Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) data. This is the information coded in the machine readable zone of your passport and transmitted electronically as part of a crew or passenger manifest to CBP for advanced analysis and for targeting of passengers traveling to and departing from the U.S. The National Targeting Center uses PNR and APIS data in combination with a host of other passenger, cargo intelligence, and threat information to conduct a risk analysis that helps to identify potential terrorists and targets for additional scrutiny. During the period of heightened alert last December, the targeting center played a pivotal role in analyzing information that led to the delay of several international flights that were determined to be at risk. In the coming months, DHS expects to issue a CBP rule governing the transmission of APIS data. This rule will combine the prior legacy US Customs Service Interim Rule and the legacy INS Proposed Rule, both of which have received substantial comments from the airline industry, together with TSA requirements for crew manifests. The need for these enhancements is underscored by the recent incidents of canceled flights to the United States, the terrorist attacks in Spain, and the continued operations of Al Qaeda and its affiliates throughout the world. There is no doubt that the threat of terrorism is serious and unrelenting. Given the importance of the aviation industry to the United - 5 - States and to the global economy, we are taking the necessary steps to prevent such an attack. Over the course of the last year, TSA has been developing a computerized prescreening system that would use PNR to help to identify passengers and to conduct a risk assessment for those passengers who might need additional screening. The final system has not been announced and is still undergoing development and testing before finalization. We are also leveraging our experiences in the international arena to allow any domestic program to run more smoothly with less impact on carriers and travelers. When completed, the system will include robust privacy protections including redress mechanisms for passengers. TSA is also reviewing the system to ensure that it does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, or gender. An additional layer of security at U.S. airports, which has broader application for border security in general, is the US-VISIT program. US-VISIT is a continuum of security measures that begins before individuals enter the United States and continues through their arrival and departure from the country. Using biometrics such as digital, inkless fingerscans and digital photographs, DHS is able to determine whether the person applying for entry to the United States is the same person who was issued a visa by the Department of State (DOS). Additionally, DOS and DHS use biometric and biographic data to check against appropriate lookout data, improving DOS’s ability to make visa determinations and DHS’s ability to make admissibility decisions at entry. US-VISIT procedures are clear, simple, and fast for visitors, and at the beginning of the year, were operational at 115 airports covering 99% of air travelers who use visas to enter the United States. In addition, US-VISIT began pilot testing biometric exit procedures at one airport and one seaport. As of June 8, more than 5 million foreign visitors have been processed under the US-VISIT entry procedures. Already US-VISIT prevented more than 196 known or suspected criminals from entering the country. Four hundred and seventy-nine people were matched while applying for a visa at DOS post overseas. In addition to best practices and border security programs with applicability in the aviation environment, over the longer term, BTS agencies are pursuing three broad areas to enhance security and customer satisfaction: (1) improvements in technology; (2) physical changes to airports and (3) better utilization of information to focus screening resources. Improvements in technology play a critical role in making our screening operations more effective, more efficient, less time consuming, and less costly. Technology that is already deployed to detect weapons, explosives, and other prohibited items at passenger checkpoints include more than 1,700 Enhanced Walk Through Metal Detectors (EWTMD), 1,219 Explosives Trace Detection (ETD) units, and 1,801 X-ray machines. Furthermore, TSA continues to utilize the Threat Image Projection (TIP) system in X-ray machines to identify specific strengths and weaknesses in X-ray screeners' abilities to - 6 - recognize and respond to threat objects. TIP is a critical element in our overall plan to continuously improve screener performance. Currently, all of TSA's X-ray machines are TIP-ready and uploaded with a 2,400 simulated threat image library. To improve upon existing capabilities in the area of passenger screening, TSA conducts a robust research and development (R&D) effort at its state-of-the-art research laboratory, the Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL), in Atlantic City, New Jersey. We were pleased to host the Committee staff's visit and would welcome visits in the future by members of the Committee to see TSA’s work at the TSL firsthand. Funds for R&D to improve passenger screening capabilities are derived from TSA's Applied R&D program, which is funded in Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 at $55.2 million, as well as from TSA's R&D program for next generation explosives detection systems (EDS) and ETD systems, which is funded at $45 million. TSA's R&D program for checkpoint technology includes walk-through explosives detection system trace portals similar to the GE EntryScan3 Explosive Detection Portal that was tested at New Carrolton, MD, as part of TSA's Transit and Rail Inspection Pilot program. This technology will be adaptable to airports, and one has already been installed at an airport for operational testing and evaluation. The President's Budget Request for FY 2005 proposes to fund applied R&D and next generation R&D at levels comparable to FY 2004. We are also working on technologies to improve detection of explosives being carried on persons and in carry-on baggage. Specific projects that will undergo pilot assessment in FY 2004 include: (1) explosives detection portals to determine if explosives are being carried on an individual’s person, (2) document scanners to detect trace amounts of explosives materials on items such as boarding passes, (3) scanners for better screening of casts and prosthetic devices, and (4) explosives detection technology to detect explosive liquids. TSA may also initiate pilot testing of an automated explosives detection system for carry-on baggage in FY 2005. Deployment of these new technologies will improve detection capabilities and result in more efficient screening, and enhanced traveler confidence. We expect that continual improvements to and increased automation capabilities of security screening technologies will reduce the instances when passengers must undergo secondary screening procedures. Because these procedures often rely upon screeners to conduct hand-wanding or other manual searches of passengers or property, we also expect that deployment of more effective technologies will allow us to employ existing screening staff more efficiently while changing passengers' perceptions about the intrusiveness of our screening. We are also developing new technologies in a manner that minimizes the "footprint impact," to ensure that airports will not have to undergo disruptive and costly construction investments to accommodate them. Finally, we are taking utmost care to ensure that any new technologies will not introduce new health risks to screeners or to passengers and will be minimally intrusive upon the privacy of passengers. In addition to developing new screening technologies, we are conducting "human factors" R&D efforts to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of each of our individual screeners. Working together, staff with expertise in human resources management, - 7 - recruitment, training, operations, and human factors research assists TSA in developing and refining training requirements and curriculum, as well as operating protocols to enhance performance. Additionally, our human factors team works with our screener workforce to ensure screening equipment deployed and under development is user-friendly for operators. These efforts are also focused on evaluating screener test results and recommending changes to screener duties based on studies monitoring screener performance under various conditions, including stress conditions. As the Committee is aware, TSA implemented a comprehensive program to improve screener performance in the fall of 2003. This far-reaching effort encompassed Mobile Training Assist Teams to resolve specific airport issues, FSD accountability for performance, new performance and effectiveness indices, a wide range of training products and initiatives, heightened covert testing covering more than 150 airports, full deployment and use of TIP, increased airport high-speed connectivity, revised Standard Operating Procedures, and full deployment of workforce management tools. Our covert tests indicate that screening performance at airports has increased significantly since September 2002, with an overall pass rate improvement of 70 percent. Overall monthly checkpoint pass rates have steadily improved over the same period, and we expect to make even greater progress as many of our initiatives have greater time to take effect. Testing by DHS’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) ended in November 2003, just shortly after TSA began its screening performance improvement program. TSA screening testing at 132 airports since institution of the improvement program show checkpoint pass rates that exceed the DHS OIG pass rates. We have provided the Committee with a closed briefing on our screening improvement progress and would be happy to provide further information. Moving forward, TSA will continually monitor screening performance closely and seek training, technological, and other initiatives to further enhance performance. TSA’s Special Operations teams will continue their aggressive program of covert testing based on the latest intelligence. We make our system testing hard, harder, and harder still, to uncover vulnerabilities and to address them. I would also like to provide some clarification about TSA’s efforts to balance screener levels at airports. As you know, FSDs and Federal screeners were first introduced to airports on an extremely accelerated schedule to meet a November 19, 2002, deadline. Accomplishing this feat required an aggressive centralized process designed to ensure screeners met appropriate standards and to provide adequate nationwide coverage. Today, as we move from start-up hiring to attrition hiring, we are piloting an approach to recruitment, hiring, and training of screeners that is focused on the FSD. Under this new approach, FSDs will have greater flexibility to obtain the right people, at the right time, at the right location. This past May 15, TSA completed instructor training for nearly 700 screener and FSD staff personnel to permit them to conduct both new hire and cross training at the airport level. Additional FSD nominations for local instructors have been received and training of these individuals will continue throughout the remainder of this fiscal year. As of June 6, 2004, each FSD now determines the level of training support required to meet the specific needs of the airport. - 8 - On the whole, TSA is moving away from the concept of a one-time allocation of screeners at airports to monitoring airport travel levels and making appropriate adjustments in screener staffing. TSA is committed to assessing staffing allocations through periodic review to ensure that TSA is keeping pace with the dynamic nature of the aviation industry. At airports where evidence supports higher staffing levels, TSA will work to address staffing needs effectively. In addition, TSA has contracted for the development of a “bottom-up” model designed to use airport-specific data to derive highly accurate staffing and throughput projections. When operational, this tool will be an important asset to help make decisions on the efficient deployment of screeners to maximize security and efficiency. TSA is also increasing capacity by enhancing efficiency in scheduling screeners. FSDs now have access to scheduling tools that provide real-time flight information to forecast periods of peak demand for screening. TSA is currently operating a pilot program, the Screening Partnership Program, at five airports using private screeners who, by law, must meet TSA eligibility, training, and performance requirements and receive pay and other benefits not less than those of TSA screeners. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act provides that beginning on November 19, 2004, any airport operator may apply to have screening performed by a contract screening company under contract with TSA. A recent evaluation by the consulting firm BearingPoint found that the private screening pilot airports performed at essentially the same level as federally screened airports. Overall, we believe the report confirms that contract operations can be successful. We are applying the recommendations from the report and the lessons learned from the pilot program as we develop procedures for airports which apply to opt out of Federal screening. I know that your Aviation Subcommittee will hear further details about our progress later this week. With almost two years of experience, we are also seeing additional ways to increase efficiency by making physical adjustments at passenger checkpoints. As you know, the vast majority of the Nation's airports were built prior to September 11, 2001, and many are not configured in a manner that accommodates the efficient performance of the security operations that are now required. Some airports are undergoing major reconstruction and reconfiguration efforts in order to accommodate the installation of in-line EDS for checked baggage screening. As a corollary, many U.S. airports, including Logan, would also benefit greatly from reconfiguration of passenger checkpoints. Reconfigured checkpoints can help increase the probability of identifying or detecting weapons in the possession of persons entering a sterile area, maintaining positive passenger and bag control, and increasing customer satisfaction through improved screening processes that result in shorter lines. TSA has determined that there are 34 airports around the country that would benefit from checkpoint reconfiguration, and the President's FY 2005 Budget request contains $13.2 million to begin this work. TSA is drafting a procurement plan for the selection of a contractor to perform the work at airports that have been determined to require checkpoint reconfiguration and remains - 9 - committed to working with other airports to ascertain whether additional checkpoint reconfigurations would be beneficial from a security or efficiency standpoint. I would like to report that we are making excellent progress in meeting our goals for EDS installation to achieve 100 percent electronic screening of checked baggage. TSA submits a classified report to Congress each month documenting the progress made and the airports that we continue to work with to achieve 100 percent electronic screening. In the May report we were able to remove more than half of the airports on the list, leaving less than an handful that require additional technology. For example, at Newark Liberty International Airport, we attained our 100 percent electronic screening goal on May 26, 2004, through new equipment installations, hiring more than 350 screeners since April 18, 2004, and continued cross training of passenger screeners for baggage screening duties. Due to Massport’s initiative, Logan is one of few airports in the country that has a fully operational in-line EDS system for the electronic screening of all checked baggage. While EDS does not have a direct impact on operations at security checkpoints, the efficiencies that result enhance our flexibility in deploying screeners because TSA can cross-train a greater number of screeners and focus that training on a smaller set of skills enabling greater flexibility and deployment of screeners throughout the entire airport. TSA purchases and installs explosives detection equipment through a variety of mechanisms, including congressionally authorized Letters of Intent (LOIs), which provide a partial reimbursement to airports for facility modifications required to install in-line EDS solutions. TSA has issued eight airport LOIs, covering 9 airports. TSA is also using resources to purchase and install EDS and ETD machines at airports outside the LOI process. The FY 2005 budget request proposes to maintain policies which guide the current program cost share and distribution of funding for LOIs, keeping the cost share at 75 percent for large airports and 90 percent for all other airports, and overriding allocation formulas which require that certain portions of the funding be directed to large hub, medium hub, and small- and non-hub airports. At the 75 percent cost share level, TSA can use its allocated funding to support current LOI airports as well as those airports that have not received an LOI but where additional equipment capacity is needed to accommodate increased passenger loads and new air carrier service. The 75 percent Federal funding level has been a long established cost share with larger airports under the Airport Improvement Program. To make our civil aviation system more secure and less burdensome, we are developing the ability to focus screening resources on those passengers who actually constitute a higher risk, while at the same time foregoing enhanced screening procedures on passengers who pose a lower risk. This Committee has expressed strong interest in TSA's work on the Registered Traveler (RT) Pilot Program. The RT Pilot Program will use biometric technology, security assessments and adjustments to screening procedures to determine whether customer service can be improved without degrading security. TSA envisions that a fully implemented RT program would be purely voluntary and would - 10 - offer qualified participants an expedited travel experience. Volunteer participants in the RT Pilot Program will be requested to submit personal data, such as biometrics (fingerprint and iris scan), that will be used for identity verification. Participants in the program will still be required to submit to a modified screening procedure for weapons, explosives, and prohibited items at the checkpoint. TSA has collaborated with key internal and external stakeholders regarding the feasibility of such a program. TSA will launch the RT Pilot Program at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with Northwest Airlines later this month. Checkpoint operations are scheduled to begin in early July. In July, TSA will implement the program at Los Angeles International Airport in coordination with United Airlines, and in August, the program will begin at George Bush Intercontinental Airport/Houston in coordination with Continental Airlines. By the end of August, TSA plans to activate the program at Logan and at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in coordination with American Airlines. The pilots will each last approximately 90 days. While TSA is not planning to charge a fee to passengers to participate in the RT Pilot Program, TSA will await the results of the Pilot Program to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of broader implementation, including what costs, if any, would be incurred by those passengers who wish to participate in a future phase of the voluntary program. If implemented on an expanded basis, the RT program would most likely be funded via a fee-for-service business arrangement. Upon conclusion of the pilots, results will be analyzed to ascertain security and customer service benefits and to determine the best approach for proceeding. BTS’s US-VISIT and CBP are exploring the potential for biometrics to enhance aviation security. CBP is actively involved in ensuring security from outside U.S. borders as it screens the airline arrival and departure manifests of both personnel and cargo. The APIS, discussed above, provides the United States with the opportunity to conduct checks of travelers prior to their arrival. These advance checks allow us to facilitate legitimate travelers while identifying persons of interest for further checks. Further enhancing this capability with biometrics checks conducted during US-VISIT processing upon arrival allows us to take aviation security to a new level never achieved before. Since the inception of US-VISIT on January 5, 2004, over 4 million travelers have been processed and over 500 matches have been identified. People with criminal records have been stopped from entering the country, and others with active warrants for serious crimes have been arrested and are being held for prosecution. CBP will further enhance this capability with the Immigration Security Initiative (ISI), which will deploy CBP Officers overseas to assist with identification of inadmissible travelers before they depart to the United States. Research in biometrics technologies continues to be applicable and useful in supporting additional TSA initiatives, including the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) program, infrastructure access control programs, and employee screening. TSA coordinates with US-VISIT and CBP to leverage research and initiatives already underway. - 11 - TSA’s TWIC program is testing alternatives for developing and potentially implementing a secure credential that could be used to mitigate possible threats posed by workers in transportation industries with fraudulent identification. The TWIC program is intended to enhance security controls applicable to the variety of transportation personnel whose duties require unescorted access to secure areas. TSA has completed two phases of the TWIC program, planning and technology evaluation, and has selected the Integrated Circuit Chip (ICC) technology as the most suitable in the tested operational environments. A request for proposals (RFP) to begin the TWIC Prototype Phase was issued on May 10, 2004. This phase is scheduled to last approximately seven months. Decisions on how to implement a credentialing system would follow an assessment by the Department of the various prototype efforts, looking at the costs and benefits of different approaches and how they may enhance security. Knowing of the Committee’s interest in the Alien Pilot Security Assessment Program, I would like to update you on our efforts. The “Vision 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act” (Vision-100), P.L. 108-176, transferred this program from the Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security. The law requires that DHS conduct background checks on aliens seeking flight training at U.S. flight schools, stipulating that checks must be completed within 30 days. TSA is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is in the final stages of preparing an interim final rule to implement this program this summer. To carry out this duty, we estimate that as many as 70,000 background checks will be required each year. Finally, I would like to update the Committee on our progress in the air cargo arena, where BTS agencies have been collaborating closely. CBP and TSA have established four joint workgroups focusing on strengthening the Known Shipper Program, Explosives Detection Canine Program, Detection Technology, and targeting efforts. This collaborative effort extends beyond these areas to the sharing of information and protocols (in air cargo) relating to technology research and development, K-9 certification standards, and air cargo operation protocols. As you are aware, the Air Cargo Strategic Plan, jointly developed by TSA and CBP, and approved by Secretary Ridge in January, outlines a layered security strategy that does not rely upon a single solution, but rather includes measures that secure critical elements of the entire air cargo supply chain. TSA is working closely with CBP to establish a Cargo Pre-Screening system that identifies which cargo should be considered “high-risk,” and we are working with other federal agencies and the airline and shipping industries to ensure that 100 percent of high-risk cargo is inspected. Among the layers within the cargo security system are the Known Shipper Program, Indirect Air Carrier certification system, procedures to secure cargo during transport to the airport, training of air carrier and Indirect Air Carrier personnel, and screening directives established in November 2003. We have strengthened our Known Shipper Program and have begun to implement the Known Shipper Automated Database, with full deployment expected by the end of the year. - 12 - - 13 - TSA is conducting studies to determine the appropriateness of technologies such as canine units, EDS, and ETD for screening cargo and aggressively pursuing new technological solutions that will allow us to enhance security for the entire air cargo supply chain, including screening of pallets and containerized cargo. In January 2004, TSA issued a market survey requesting submissions and participation of vendors of commercial off-the-shelf explosives detection technology to support cargo inspection. A number of vendors have been tentatively selected for laboratory evaluation of their products against the current EDS certification criteria. TSA has issued a RFP for potential inventors of explosives detection technology for the screening of containerized cargo and U.S. mail to be transported on passenger aircraft. This RFP resulted in 74 responses, and from those responses, TSA has selected 15 technologies for a more in-depth review. TSA will award R&D grants by the end of this fiscal year to assist in the development of the most promising technologies. While we have already made important progress in protecting air cargo, these protections will become even stronger in the future as we implement a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking now in development and accompanying specific program plans. We have also requested further suggestions from industry for air cargo security enhancements. Accomplishing our core mission of ensuring the security of the Nation's civil aviation system as efficiently as possible is challenging work. Nevertheless, striking the appropriate balance is a goal we must meet, for the terrorists will have won if we achieve effective security only at the expense of the freedom of movement that we all cherish. We are implementing and considering a wide variety of measures, including developing and refining best practices, exploring new technologies, undertaking physical modifications at airports to better accommodate our screening operations, and enhancing our use of information technology to better focus our screening resources. Chairman McCain, Sen. Hollings, and other distinguished Members of the Committee, this concludes my prepared statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions at this time.
Witness Panel 2
Ms. Patricia Friend
Senator McCain, Ranking Member Hollings, Members of the Committee, Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Pat Friend and I am a flight attendant and the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants - CWA. AFA is the representative of 45,000 flight attendants at 26 carriers. Thank you for this opportunity to present this testimony on the crucial matter of flight attendant security training. The job of a flight attendant is first to protect the flying public. It is a job that we love and one that we do with pride and care. We are trained to fight fires in the air, to administer first aid, to evacuate an aircraft in case of an accident, deal with abusive passengers and to give comfort. We receive comprehensive training in how to handle all these situations onboard the aircraft and are now officially recognized for these roles through FAA certification. Unbelievably, almost three years after the horrific events of September 11th, 2001 we still have not been trained to appropriately handle a security crisis onboard on our airplanes. On September 11, 25 heroic flight attendants lost their lives trying to protect their passengers and the security of the flight deck. Their wrists were bound, their throats slashed, and they died with the knowledge they would no longer be there to help those whom they were entrusted to protect. We must not forget the heroic flight attendants we lost that tragic day. We all learned from the September 11th Commission report in January and heard first hand the phone call placed by flight attendant Betty Ong on American Airlines flight 11. Her calm demeanor and professionalism in the face of this attack was a true testament to her, and all flight attendants’, ability to put their training to good use. As one television commentator stated after hearing the presentation of her taped phone conversation, “She carried out her job professionally and reacted well to her training. Unfortunately, she had received the wrong kind of training.” I could not agree more and clearly the 9-11 Commission felt the same. Following is a quote from the 9-11 Commission after the January 27th hearing which reiterates what we have been saying since September 11th: “We also learned how hijackers beat the last line of defense on the four flights, because the professionals had been trained to cooperate with hijackers, not fight them.” I agree completely with this statement and applaud the 9-11 Commission for highlighting this tragic oversight in our security training as it existed prior to September 11th. Unfortunately, I am here to report to you that nothing has changed since that horrible day. We are no better prepared today to handle a situation like that which occurred on September 11th and our training is still woefully inadequate. Congress has taken many actions to improve the overall safety of the aviation system. Screeners have been federalized and are receiving updated training. Screening procedures have been tightened. Flight deck doors are now reinforced, many pilots carry guns, and armed federal air marshals are on select flights. There are new procedures in place for many aspects of aviation security. We have supported these efforts and will continue to support all efforts that make our aviation system, and our workplace, more secure. However there is still one crucial link missing. We remain frustrated and troubled that the needs of flight attendants in order to adequately perform their roles in making the aviation system more secure have been delayed, denied and ignored. Our skies are not safe and they will not be safe until flight attendants receive the training necessary to protect our passengers from another September 11. Many steps can be taken to improve aviation security, but regardless of how many steps are taken, one must view the entire aviation system as a whole and make sure that each and every loophole has been closed. As you well know, loopholes remain and the most glaring is the continued delay in implementing industry-wide, comprehensive flight attendant security training. We know that potential weapons are still making it onboard the aircraft, as the GAO has reported, even though screening procedures have been improved. Not every commercial flight has a pilot with a gun, nor does it have a federal air marshal. But, with a few exceptions for very small aircraft, every commercial flight in this country has at least one flight attendant on board, in the cabin. It is that flight attendant, who properly trained, can be our best security asset to help protect against those weapons that are still clearly making it onboard. Besides learning how to protect ourselves and to defend the passengers in the cabin, it has become clear that with the introduction of guns onboard the aircraft, another reason to be trained has made itself abundantly clear. We are told that trainees in the FFDO and the federal air marshal programs are sometimes told, if necessary, to shoot through a flight attendant. The Washington Post reported in December of 2002 that air marshals still shoot the flight attendant mock-up in their training simulations and are still graduating from the program. Doesn’t it make more sense to train that flight attendant to assist in a crisis rather than to be a human shield? In fact, both FFDO’s and air marshals have stated it would be their preference to have the flight attendant as a trained ally - one with the skills, the knowledge and the ability to foil a terrorist. Flight attendants are the front line safety personnel on the aircraft, as recognized by the 9-11 Commission. We are truly the first and last line of defense in the aircraft cabin. We recognized the problems with our security training immediately following September 11th and have been trying diligently since then to get the federal government to realize this fact and take the appropriate action to guarantee that we receive adequate and necessary security training. I know that the members of this Committee and a majority of Congress realize that flight attendants need updated and meaningful flight attendant security training. On three separate occasions Congress has specifically acknowledged the need for this training; the Air Transportation Security Act, the Homeland Security Act, and the 2003 FAA reauthorization bill. Yet, these many attempts to provide flight attendants with meaningful security training have not been successful. The legislative history and struggles to enact security training are well known to the members of this Committee, but for the sake of the record, I would like to reiterate them. Immediately following the attacks of September 11th, AFA began to call on Congress to direct the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to update flight attendant security training. As the 9-11 Commission made clear, the anti-hijacking training provided to flight attendants prior to the September 11th attacks did not reflect the reality of the new threats posed to the domestic aviation system. Terrorists were no longer looking for hostages to trade for political demands. Instead, terrorists now have an evil goal to use our workplace, the aircraft, as a weapon of mass destruction. It was only logical and clear to the flight attendants of this country that our training needed to be updated in order for us to effectively fulfill our role to protect the safety and security of passengers. That is why AFA worked closely with Members of Congress to update and expand required flight attendant security training through the Air Transportation Security Act (ATSA) in the fall of 2001. The final legislation that was passed by Congress and signed by the President included a number of provisions in section 44918 that required the FAA to update and improve currently existing flight attendant security training requirements. These provisions called on the FAA to require that carrier flight attendant security training programs be updated and changed to reflect the current security and threats that flight attendants may face onboard the aircraft. It was the intention of AFA that with the FAA approving these updated programs, all carriers across the industry would implement similar if not identical training programs. However, in the immediate months after passage of ATSA it became abundantly clear that the security training programs being implemented by the carriers and approved by the FAA were not adequate or consistent. There was a wide variance in the type of training and the hours spent on the training. Some carriers were showing flight attendants a twenty-minute video, while others were conducting two full days of voluntary, hands-on training. Even more amazing was the fact that all of these programs received approval from their FAA Principle Security Inspectors (PSIs). Actions such as these only highlighted to us the fact that the FAA was not adequately prepared to handle supervision of the security training programs. Security training discrepancies in the aviation system led to many flight attendants unprepared for any future terrorist attack onboard an aircraft. We at AFA strongly stated repeatedly that all flight attendants, regardless of the carrier employing them, must receive the same level of adequate security training. The system would not be effective if it was simply a patchwork quilt of programs that varied significantly from carrier to carrier. It was at this time that AFA began to lobby Congress to implement requirements for flight attendant security training that included a set number of hours for the training programs. These mandates would have to be enforced so that all carriers were providing the same basic level of security training for all flight attendants in the US aviation system. During the spring of 2002, as legislation began moving in the House and Senate that would allow pilots to carry firearms, AFA again lobbied Congress to mandate 28 hours of detailed flight attendant security training at all carriers, with the training program to be develop by the security experts at the Transportation Security Agency (TSA). AFA arrived at this proposal after consulting with numerous security and training experts and after experts completed 5 months of instructional system design work with various groups of flight attendants and pilots. This ideal legislative language was approved in an amendment to the Homeland Security Bill by an overwhelming, bi-partisan vote in the Senate of 87 – 6 on September 5th, 2002. In our opinion, the final language that emerged from the conference committee working out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation eventually took a step back from the original Senate language in that it did not mandate a specific number of hours for training. It did however call on the TSA to issue a rule mandating a set number of hours for extensively detailed flight attendant security training that would be implemented by all carriers and mandatory for all flight attendants. I must admit that this was not our ideal language, for we have learned that if Congress is not specific in spelling out details, the FAA and now the TSA have been susceptible to pressure from the airline industry in weakening meaningful and comprehensive requirements. However, we began to cooperate with TSA under the framework of the legislation and with those tasked by TSA to develop this rule in order to guarantee that the training requirements and the final rule issued by the TSA would be as effective and comprehensive as possible. We were also pleased to read on November 19th, a letter from TSA Under Secretary Admiral James Loy in response to an October 10th letter from Representative Peter DeFazio asking him about the position of having 28 hours of training, which stated “We (TSA) generally agree that, as an additional ring of security, flight attendants, well trained in first line defense techniques, will enhance the overall security of the aircraft while in flight. Additionally, we believe that the proposed 28 hours of security training time is reasonable to ensure basic skills are learned and adequately maintained over time.” We were optimistic that the TSA working groups designed to develop the security training would do the right thing. However, we underestimated the opposition by our employers, the nation’s air carriers to implementing comprehensive security training. They made repeated back door legislative efforts to gut the requirements in the Homeland Security Act that would have required them to abide by any industry wide training standards. It appears to have been their goal, through these repeated legislative efforts, to make security training for flight attendants voluntary, make the flight attendants pay for the training themselves and prevent any industry wide standards for such security training. As Congress began work on the FAA Reauthorization legislation, the air carriers continued their efforts to eliminate meaningful flight attendant security training. Finally, AFA and other flight attendant labor unions met with airline representatives to see if it was possible to reach some common ground on flight attendant security training requirements. In the end, the language included in the final House version of the FAA Reauthorization split flight attendant security training into two parts. A basic, mandatory level of security training that included a number of provisions such as crew communication and coordination, psychology of a terrorist and basic moves to defend oneself. The second tier of training was a more comprehensive, voluntary level of training which would include more aggressive methods of self-defense and be more physical. We believed that the intention of this second tier would be the flight attendant equivalent of the voluntary FFDO program. Yet I will remind the Committee that it is not voluntary that we are on the other side of the locked flight deck door. This language was not ideal for AFA, but it did at least create a basic, mandatory level of security training with the requirement that TSA must develop regulations and guidelines for that training. We felt strongly that this basic, mandatory level would be industry wide, and that TSA would issue those guidelines and regulations. All interested parties had agreed that the TSA “shall” issue those regulations, and the original legislative language reflected that intention. It was reported to AFA, and subsequently confirmed by numerous sources, that at this point Continental Airlines, through last minute, back-room legislative machinations was successful in changing the language regarding basic, mandatory flight attendant security training from “TSA shall issue guidelines” to “TSA may issue guidelines”. By changing this one word, the ability to force TSA to issue these industry-wide guidelines was removed. By changing the mandate, TSA, which has proven to be under the pressure of the carriers, would now not be required or mandated to issue those regulations for the crucial, mandatory flight attendant security training. Since passage of the FAA Reauthorization, it has become clear to AFA and other interested parties, that the TSA has stopped working on developing those guidelines for basic, mandatory flight attendant security training. In fact, some of the individuals that were tasked at TSA with developing the program as called for under the Homeland Security Act have had their positions eliminated and work on developing these regulations and guidelines has been shelved. Without a mandate from Congress directing that TSA shall issue those guidelines, it is my belief that TSA will continue to remain under the pressure of the airlines to not issue those guidelines. At this time the security training programs at each airline have only become worse. The programs have been simply watered down more and more over time as it becomes a race to the bottom to see which airlines can get away with the cheapest and easiest program. Flight attendants and the safety and security of the flying public are the ones suffering the most from this race to the bottom. I continue to be baffled by the obstinate opposition by some air carriers to comprehensive, mandatory flight attendant security training programs. We also have never received a clear answer from them on why they have fought every attempt to make our aviation system the most secure in the world. The only arguments we have heard are that it is too costly for them to train their flight attendants and that security training goes against their corporate culture. Let me say that I and my members would be the first to wish that our world hadn’t changed so dramatically on September 11th. But unfortunately that is the reality of the situation today and like it or not, corporate culture must also change. Like it or not, flight attendants are the eyes, ears and first line defenders in the cabin of the aircraft. We did not wish for this position, it’s the reality of our world today. To continue to ignore and fight that reality only puts many more lives in jeopardy. It also has been said that flight attendants do not need extensive security training as the passengers will come to their aid. While that may seem to be the case, it may not always prove to be reality. It is a false hope that we cannot rely on. Recently, a flight attendant for a major airline was attacked by an abusive passenger. The passenger lunged at the flight attendant. He was attempting to grab her. Not one passenger came to her assistance. It was only because of the fact that she had taken basic self-defense classes in college, and remembered that training, was she able to break free from the attacking passenger. The other argument we have heard against this is cost. However, if through this training only one life is saved, there is no price that can be put on it that is not worth paying. We have also attempted to work with the carriers in order to try and find a way that the federal government may step in to assist in paying for this added cost associated with protecting our countries aircraft. We have been rebuffed every time. Where does that leave flight attendants today in their ability to respond to another terrorist attack onboard aircraft? Well, as I pointed out earlier, we are no better prepared than we were on September 11th. Security training at the airlines, where it even exists, is meaningless. Why do I say, “where it even exists”? Because I can report from one of our members at one major airline who recently completed his recurrent training, which should have included a review of his initial security training, that no time was spent on security training. The carrier did spend over an hour however on a program entitled “corporate ethics” where the flight attendants were trained on important topics like how taking an opened, half bottle of water, was considered theft of company property. When the flight attendant asked the company why there was no time devoted to the important topic of security training, he was told that “there wasn’t enough time”. We’ve received reports from another major carrier, that they have included security training in their recurrent training. However, for all intents and purposes, their security training has been given only as an afterthought. This carrier showed a six-minute video followed by a few minutes of questions and discussion. Another major carrier devotes approximately one hour, which includes watching a fifteen minute video. The class does however spend an hour devoted to a course entitled “Equal Treatment of Customers”. It appears that the carriers are getting around the requirements for security training by including important security procedures in home study packets. Flight attendants are given the information in booklets, which they are supposed to read on their own time at home. As we’ve learned from the examples I have outlined, there is clearly no further discussion of the security principles. We remain concerned that important security training procedures could potentially be circulated to the general public and any potential hijackers in training via these home study packets. What recourse do we have to address these problems? Unfortunately, we do not have many tools available to correct these deficiencies in training. However, section 603 (6) of the Vision 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act as passed last year provides that TSA shall monitor air carrier training programs. It states: “In determining when an air carrier’s training program should be reviewed….the Under Secretary shall consider complaints from crew members.” AFA has received thousands of letters from our members directed to TSA urging the agency to conduct an audit of their carrier’s training programs due to the fact that they feel the programs are insufficient. I urge the Members of this Committee to take the actions necessary to make sure that the TSA lives up to the requirements of this section and conducts thorough and meaningful audits of the carrier training programs to ensure that they are meeting the requirements outlined in the law. Recently, the TSA stated in a letter to the Chairman of this committee that they have been making progress on developing the guidelines for the advanced, voluntary security training outlined in the Vision 100 Act. Is it logical that TSA would develop an advanced security training program, when they have yet to develop even the basic, mandatory level of training called for in the Act? It is clear that the airlines will continue to provide inadequate and weak training programs until the TSA does its job and issues regulations that require a standardized, industry-wide, meaningful security -training program. These regulations should guarantee that airline training programs incorporate topics such as, but not limited to, psychology of a terrorist, verbal commands, items readily available onboard to assist in self-defense, physical means to defend oneself and more importantly crew communication and coordination. This last part is vitally important if all three parts of the onboard aviation security team; the pilots, air marshals, if present, and flight attendants all know how the other groups have been trained to react. Our members need to know how to slow down the hijackers long enough for those with deadly weapons to stop the terrorist or for a pilot to land the aircraft. I, and my members need your help. We refuse to shirk our responsibility to the flying public but we have been trying for almost three years to get our employers to give us what we need. It is evident that is not going to happen without your diligent oversight of TSA and directing them to stop the delays. It may be necessary for this Congress to once again pass legislation that makes the federal government do what it should have done immediately after September 11th. It is only with your insistence that we will get the tools we need and want to fulfill our job to protect our passengers. Please help us in our quest for a minimum, clear, consistent, industry-wide standardized security training developed by TSA - one that will truly close the “aviation security gap”. In closing, I would like to leave you with one thought: The only people who were successful in saving lives on September 11 were those flight attendants who actually abandoned their training. With the help of their passengers they prevented Flight 93 from being used as a missile. Despite their training to acquiesce, they fought back. Yes, they still lost their lives, but they lost them saving the lives of countless others – most likely the lives of those of you sitting here in this Committee room. Do not allow the lesson they taught us be in vain. Mandate appropriate, industry-wide security training for flight attendants.
Mr. Thomas J. Kinton, Jr.
Chairman McCain, Senator Hollings and members of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation For the record I am Thomas J. Kinton, Jr., Director of Aviation for the Massachusetts Port Authority which owns and operates Logan International Airport. Since the September 11 terrorist attacks nearly three years ago, there have been significant improvements in the security this nation provides to those who use America’s air transportation system. Public confidence in the safety of our transportation system, especially when combined with measures to limit the inconvenience that can accompany heightened security, has been a major contributor to the steady improvement of air travel and the airline industry. The goal at Logan, as it is for all airports, is to combine world-class security with world-class customer service. As Massport’s Board, CEO and staff have shown, it is possible to do both at Logan. But it requires: funding, adequate staffing, and good teamwork between airport operators and those agencies responsible for the safety and security of the traveling public. The best example of the progress we have made at Logan to meet these twin objectives is our bag screening system. Logan was the first major airport to have its 100% baggage screening system approved by the Transportation Security Administration. For the first time in history, we are able to screen every piece of passenger baggage that goes on a plane, instead of the 5 to 10 percent done in the past. At the same time we improved security, Logan also was able to address a potential source of customer dissatisfaction. No terminal space was wasted to build the system. And most passengers who use Logan are unaware there has even been a change. The behind-the scenes baggage-screening system allows passengers to check luggage at the gate or curb as they have always done. Once checked, bags move on nearly three miles of conveyor belts through one of the 38 mini-van sized explosive detection machines located in 14 new and renovated baggage rooms that measure more than 80,000 square feet which Massport constructed for the TSA. We continue to make improvements to the system by working with the manufacturer to make the aperture of the EDS machine larger. We can now accept even the largest bags, which will help to reduce delays in screening. Constructing this system was a monumental engineering feat that compressed two years of design, construction, and testing into about 6 months. Massport made room for a TSA workforce of some 1,250 screeners. And at the height of construction, nearly 800 bricklayers, electricians, carpenters, ironworkers, HVAC workers, bag belt workers, and others had to be coordinated daily. Logan was able to complete this project in time to meet Congress’ deadline only because of the outstanding cooperation we received from the TSA and because Massport itself was willing to immediately commit $146 million in advance of federal reimbursements. Thanks to the efforts of Senators Kennedy and Kerry, the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, and the staffs of the TSA and Department of Homeland Security, Logan has been reimbursed for a significant portion of the capital costs of the baggage-screening project. To date, Massport received an initial $30 million security reimbursement, as well as two of the three annual payments promised under an earlier 75% reimbursement schedule sanctioned by Congress. Still to be resolved is whether Massport will receive additional security funding through the current 90% reimbursement commitment approved by Congress in the reauthorization of AIP. Also unresolved is reimbursement for ongoing operating costs. Massport built eight new substations to power the baggage-screening system. A complex system of conveyor belts stretching three miles and powered by more than 300 motors needs constant upkeep. Massport estimates that annual utility and maintenance costs for operating the system total $8 million. These are costs that Massport currently must pass along to the financially-stressed airlines that operate at Logan through a new per-bag fee. In addition to baggage screening, Massport also is designing and constructing more modern security checkpoints for the TSA’s passenger screening system. Logan’s system incorporated updated equipment, better layout for increased flow, and the development of exit lane security doors and video monitoring to prevent unnecessary evacuations of terminals or concourses should a possible security breach be suspected. Yet, nothing is more certain to discourage travelers from returning to the nation’s airports than long, frustrating delays at terminal checkpoints. Each week, Massport, TSA and airline staff meet to coordinate efforts to deal with the peak travel times when additional screeners will be necessary. When long lines develop, especially during the summer and holiday seasons, the culprit is invariably inadequate staffing at the security checkpoints. Over the coming months, airports must decide whether to participate in the opt-out program by continuing with TSA screeners or allowing the TSA to hire outside screeners to provide security. A further alternative to consider is giving airports the authority to use the services of outside private screeners, or permit the TSA to do so, during periods of high demand, such as the surge in travel during the holidays. If such an option were provided, I would recommend that the TSA personnel and private screeners operate independently at their separately designated checkpoints, instead of working jointly at the same checkpoints. Chronically long lines are a problem we absolutely must address. It is critical. The public will avoid air travel whenever possible if travelers find they cannot get where they need to go conveniently and on time. If airports operators and TSA security personnel don’t get staffing levels right we will set back the airline industry for years to come. Recently, the TSA announced that it was eliminating thousands of security screeners nationwide. Thanks to efforts of Logan’s TSA security director, George Naccara, the screening reductions at Logan were minimal. Slots were vacated at Logan – and at the two smaller airports Massport also operates – through attrition and with no degradation of TSA’s security capabilities. We have used technology to help bridge the gap. At Logan we discovered that we were able to eliminate passenger bottlenecks by installing additional X-ray machines at select security checkpoints. With two X-ray machines operating in conjunction with a single magnetometer, Logan found that it was able to significantly improve passenger throughput with a minimal increase in TSA staffing. Again, the support we received from Admiral Naccara and his TSA team was instrumental both at the local level and in having our plan approved in Washington. We could further improve the efficiency of our checkpoints if we allowed operators to screen carry-on bags using a continuous feed, instead of stopping each bag as it moves on the belt, as is currently done. We have also tried to improve checkpoint performance with public service announcements that make sure passengers are ready when it is their turn to proceed through screening. Convenient international travel also is an important priority. Logan’s new International Gateway significantly expands the international arrivals terminal, providing greatly expanded passenger processing capabilities. Adequate staffing by the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection is essential as we begin the busy summer travel season. Understaffed customs and immigration booths have resulted in some of the longest waiting times ever experienced in Boston. Another area of concern is cargo screening. With 100% hold baggage screening now in place the next logical step is to look at systems for screening freight that goes on both commercial and cargo flights. Currently, there are few federal mandates for screening air cargo. Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey, among others, has filed legislation that would require the TSA to screen air cargo. In the meantime, Logan was the first airport in the country to launch a test program to examine the logistics, feasibility and best practices of screening cargo on commercial airliners. How much space and labor are required? How much cargo can be screened in a given amount of time? What are the best methods for handling suspicious cargo once it is detected? These are all questions we hope to answer during our pilot study using various screening techniques and technologies. We understand that the TSA is working on its own air cargo strategic plan and Massport intends to share the results of our tests with the TSA when the pilot study is complete. While passenger and baggage screening have received most of the attention, there are a number of other important security initiatives that Massport has undertaken that also have significant customer service implications for passengers using Logan Airport. Logan’s State Police units have gained national attention with Behavior Pattern Recognition methods designed to identify potential criminals or terrorists without inconveniencing the tens of thousands of passengers who use Logan each day. Using these procedures, State Police troopers observe and question passengers and airport employees if they exhibit certain well-defined behavior that security personnel are trained to regard as suspicious. Logan’s passengers are reassured by this proactive and professional approach. And by using proven methods to isolate potential threats, behavior recognition techniques are a significant improvement over the random searches that were such a frustrating intrusion and inconvenience for the vast majority of passengers in the past. Logan also tries to be on the cutting edge of new techniques and technologies to make our nation more secure than it has ever been before. We have become a laboratory for the field testing of promising new security innovations. And to separate what works from what’s a waste of time Massport has assembled a special Security Advisory Committee. This group of experienced professionals, with contacts in New England's academic and business communities, works with our Director of Corporate Security to evaluate new security technologies and how they might be used. The council helps us to quickly decide which ideas are worth pursuing as we continue to launch pilot projects that push the envelope on ways to improve security -- without sacrificing operational effectiveness. Just a few of the promising high-tech ideas we’ve tested include: · facial recognition cameras · forged document detectors · infrared cameras that detect intruders at night or in bad weather · iris scanners and other biometric devices to control access These tests proved the value of handheld wireless computers that will soon become standard issue with our State Police. These devices allow troopers on foot patrol to conduct criminal history and license plate checks via a secure wireless network. Eventually, these computers will provide security personnel with a visual image of intruders detected by security cameras. A vehicle inspection system was instituted to reopen parking lots near terminals that were closed by order of the FAA after the terrorist attacks– another security initiative that provides significant customer service benefits for Logan’s passengers. Hundreds of bomb-resistant trash receptacles were installed in all terminals and parking garages. Barriers were erected to prevent vehicles from approaching security sensitive buildings. Hundreds of new security surveillance cameras were installed, with plans to add dozens of additional intrusion detectors at key points around the airport. Idling limos and taxis were relocated so they could be screened away from terminals before proceeding to pick up passengers. Tow trucks were deployed in forward positions, alerting motorists that unattended or illegally parked vehicles at the terminal curbside would be removed. This is especially true should the security threat level go up, triggering Massport’s zero tolerance policy that compels the immediate impoundment of improperly parked vehicles anywhere on the property. New technologies and improved law enforcement techniques are essential to securing our airports against potential threats. But another essential element is the communication and working relationships between airport operators and resident agencies at the state, local and federal level. Significant progress has been made. The fact that Admiral Naccara and I appear together before this committee today is indicative of the teamwork that is standard operating procedure at Logan Airport. Each morning at 8:30, Massport staff meets with the TSA and local law enforcement to assess current information and threat directives to help us plan for the coming day. These daily briefings bring together the TSA, Logan’s State Police, Massport’s Fire and Rescue, the FAA, federal air marshals, Customs and Border Protection, the airlines, and our major tenants and construction contractors. These meetings allow everyone responsible for airport security and operations to simultaneously review events and intelligence from the preceding 24 hours so that we can adjust our priorities and response for the day ahead. Assembling all key decision makers in the same room at the same time has been tremendously valuable for providing a high degree of security vigilance while maintaining normal airport operations. We are light years ahead of where we were less than three years ago, but we still need to do better. There is a continuing need to see threat information in a more timely manner. Too often threat information does not arrive in time for an optimal response, or arrives so late the threat has already passed. All of us understand that there is room for improvement when local agencies responsible for the safety and security of the traveling public learn about potential threats by reading the morning newspaper. One significant improvement would be to allow local agencies to have more authority. Let me use the example of the FAA. As an airport director I am able to resolve 99% of the issues I encounter running a major international airport by working with the FAA tower personnel or the FAA’s regional office. Only rarely am I forced to address my concerns directly to the FAA national headquarters in Washington. The TSA, on the other hand, does not have the organizational authority to resolve issues quickly at the local level. Everything must first be cleared with Washington, where weeks or months are lost waiting for an answer – if an answer comes at all. We are confronted by an enemy with virtually unlimited targets of opportunity. When you consider that there are as many entrances to the New York subway as there are checkpoints at the nation’s airports speed is the greatest ally of effective security. And when you have experienced people like Admiral Naccara, who give the TSA “boots on the ground” at their local airports, there is no reason to squander their experience and training to provide an effective and speedy response to the unique security challenges that confront individual airports. This has been an eventful decade for the nation’s airports and airline industries. We have enjoyed tremendous highs and weathered demanding lows -- years of record-setting airline performance interrupted by historic declines since the tragedy of September 11 that have threatened some of the biggest names in American aviation. All of us remain confident that America’s air transportation system will continue to improve as it adjusts to the new security and economic demands of the industry today. Key to this continued recovery will be the ability of airports and airport security personnel to provide world-class security without compromising the convenience and efficiency the traveling public expects and deserves from America’s air transportation system. Our experience over the past two and a half years gives us confidence that we can do both. But we need your support. As Winston Churchill said a long time ago about the grave security threats of his era: “Give us the tools and we will finish the job.”