Aviation Security: TSA Is Enhancing Its Oversight of Air Carrier Efforts to Screen Passengers Against Terrorist Watch-List Records, But Expects Ultimate Solution to Be Implementation of Secure Flight, Statement of Cathleen A. Berrick, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, before the Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection, Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 227KB]

"Domestic air carriers are responsible for checking passenger names against terrorist watch-list records to identify persons who should be denied boarding (the No Fly List) or who should undergo additional security scrutiny (the Selectee List). The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is to assume this function through its Secure Flight program. However, due to program delays, air carriers retain this role. This testimony discusses TSA's requirements for domestic air carriers to conduct watch-list matching, the extent to which TSA has assessed compliance with watch-list matching requirements, and TSA's progress in developing Secure Flight. This statement is based on GAO's report on air carrier watch-list matching (GAO-08-992) being released today and GAO's previous and ongoing reviews of Secure Flight. In conducting this work, GAO reviewed TSA security directives and TSA inspections guidance and results, and interviewed officials from 14 of 95 domestic air carriers. GAO is not making any recommendations related to air carriers' watch-list matching programs because TSA initiated actions in April 2008 to strengthen related requirements and its oversight of air carriers' implementation of these requirements. Regarding Secure Flight, GAO previously made recommendations to strengthen the program's development. TSA generally agreed."

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