Selected Aviation Security Legislation in the Aftermath of the September 11 Attack [Updated December 14, 2001] [open pdf - 166KB]
The September 11, 2001 hijacking of four airliners, and the enormous loss of life from the use of these airplanes as weapons, has focused congressional concerns on aviation security. During the debate in Congress the overarching issue was the degree of federal involvement needed both to make commercial air travel safer and to restore the public's confidence in the security of our Nation's airway and airports. On October 11, 2001, the Senate passed, after multiple amendments, the Aviation Security Act of 2001, S. 1447 (introduced by Senator Hollings). The bill provided for the federalization of most aspects of airport security. The responsibility for much of the law enforcement aspect of airport security would have been shifted from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Front-line screening of passengers and baggage would be carried out by federal agents under the authority of the Attorney General. DOT would have continued to administer the Federal Air Marshals (FAM) program but under DOJ guidelines.
CRS Report for Congress, RL31150