Aviation Security: Weaknesses in Airport Security and Options for Assigning Screening Responsibilities, Statement of Gerald L. Dillingham Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Aviation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 106KB]

A safe and secure civil aviation system is a critical component of the nation's overall security, physical infrastructure, and economic foundation. Billions of dollars and a myriad of programs and policies have been devoted to achieving such a system. Some key security issues include airport access controls, passenger and carry-on baggage screening, and alternatives to current screening practices, including practices in selected other countries. Controls for limiting access to secure areas, including aircraft, have not always worked as intended. In May of 2000, special agents used counterfeit law enforcement badges and credentials to gain access to secure areas at two airports, bypassing security checkpoints and walking unescorted to aircraft departure gates. In June 2000, testing of screeners showed that significant, long-standing weaknesses--measured by the screeners' abilities to detect threat objects located on passengers or contained in their carry-on luggage--continue to exist.

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