The U.S. Senate recently approved a measure designed to bolster air travel security.
The U.S. Senate has approved a measure designed to enhance air travel security. Reports say lawmakers voted by an overwhelming majority to add airport security provisions to a separate bill pertaining to the renewal of Federal Aviation Administration programs through September 2017.
Source: Reuters Report “U.S. senators vote to bolster travel security in FAA bill”
“The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to bolster travel security…with measures that include doubling the number of transportation security teams with bomb-sniffing dogs at domestic airports and other transit hubs… After Republicans and Democrats reached a deal on security measures earlier in the day, lawmakers voted to raise the number of Visible Intermodal Prevention Response, or VIPER, teams within the Transportation Security Administration from 31 to 60. VIPER teams, which are intended as a visible deterrent to attacks, can be deployed at airports and train or bus stations.”
To read more visit http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-security-airports-idUSKCN0X41Z2.
Sen. John Thune (R) of South Dakota, who chairs the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, has said of the need for the changes, “Events around the world and security lapses at US airports necessitate new protections for the traveling public… Keeping Americans safe from future attacks is a top priority in this Senate.”
Included in the proposed changes are provisions for adding security to baggage claim and check-in areas that may be deemed vulnerable, granting authorization to TSA to provide foreign airports that have direct flights to the U.S. with security equipment donations, and other measures. Some airports have already voiced complaints about associated costs of bolstering security measures in spite of numerous security breaches that have placed numerous passengers at risk in recent years.
Source: McClatchy Report “MSP Wary of Too Little Staffing for Beefed-Up Airport Security”
“April 09–WASHINGTON — Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport officials have one message to Congress about a proposal to boost airport security nationwide: Give us the proper manpower to do it.”
According to New York aviation attorney Jonathan C. Reiter, who has handled several personal injury cases involving airport security breaches, the early complaints could indicate potential issues with airports failing to take necessary precautions to reduce threats to airline passengers. The New York attorney says “last year, the Department of Homeland Security found that 73 workers were determined to have possible links to terrorism, but this went undetected in the normal screening process used by the TSA. The group included airline workers and airport vendors who had active clearance badges. This is just one example of how airport security has failed passengers in terms of potentially placing their lives at risk. The early complaints of airports aren’t a good sign that they are going to attempt to effectively follow new FAA guidelines.”
The New York personal injury lawyer says statistics clearly show that presently airports aren’t doing enough to ward off security threats. The Los Angeles Daily News reported last year on the frequency of airport security lapses saying, “An Associated Press investigation found 268 perimeter breaches since 2004 at airports that together handle three-quarters of U.S. commercial passenger traffic. And that’s an undercount, because two airports among the 31 that AP surveyed didn’t have data for all years.”
Says Jonathan C. Reiter, “Looking at the numerous adverse events that have occurred within the aviation industry over time due to security lapses, instead of voicing complaints now, airports should be rallying for improvements and eager for new rules to be put in place.”
The FAA measure will be subject to a final vote that is expected later in the month.