House Passes First Ever TSA Reauthorization in FAA Package
Washington, D.C. – Today the House passed a bipartisan five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This critical legislation provides the FAA with the long-term funding to strengthen the overall safety and security of our transportation systems.
The bill includes the first ever reauthorization of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). It comprehensively updates TSA’s mission and strategic planning, and ensures TSA has the right authorities to address today’s threats. Twenty-five bipartisan House Homeland Security bills were also included in the legislation, which will ensure the United States continues to lead in aviation security by enhancing screening oversees at Last Point of Departure (LPD) airports, strengthening risk-based security screening here at home, deploying cutting edge technology more quickly while improving the testing and evaluation process, and more.
Chairman McCaul: “Better protecting Americans requires a holistic approach to security that is both risk-based and intelligence-driven. In this high threat environment facing airports and commercial aviation, terrorists continue to target the aviation sector, as we saw in Istanbul, Brussels, and the Sinai Peninsula. The measure passed by the House today will play a crucial role in protecting hundreds of millions of air travelers in the United States and those flying home from abroad.
“Additionally, this bill authorizes the piloting, testing, and prioritization of Computed Tomography (CT) technology to enhance our ability to detect firearms, explosives, and other dangerous items. It also improves aviation security by mandating tougher vetting of airport employees to stop insider threats and enhancing airport access controls. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for recognizing the dynamic threats to our aviation and transportation systems, and for passing this vital national security legislation.”
Reforms and Reauthorizes the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- Provides top line authorization levels for TSA for three years.
- Establishes a five-year term for the TSA Administrator to help maintain leadership stability and bridge administration transitions.
- Builds domestic capacity to test and certify explosive detection dogs, authorizing as many as 200 additional canine teams for surface transportation.
- Leverages the private sector to make PreCheck enrollment easier for passengers and directs TSA to meet specific targets for expanding enrollment.
- Directs TSA to build aviation security capacity around the world while establishing and disseminating best practices to raise the global aviation security baseline at overseas airports with direct flights to the United States
- Requires TSA to make real-time information on wait times via technology at each airport security checkpoint available to the public online and in airport terminals.
- Utilizes third-party testing and evaluation of security screening equipment and recognizes international testing to enable faster deployment of the most effective technologies.
- Mandates agency-wide efficiency review to examine how to eliminate duplicative programs and senior executive positions.
- Authorizes piloting, testing, and prioritization of Computed Tomography technology to mitigate current threats to transportation.
- Mitigates insider threats to transportation security by improving the vetting of aviation employees and enhancing airport access controls.
- Sets a risk-based security model for surface transportation facilities and stipulates that TSA budget submissions must clearly indicate which resources will be used for surface transportation security and which will be dedicated to aviation.
- Authorizes Amtrak police and the Amtrak Board of Directors to request the use of computerized vetting systems for passenger rail.
- Puts in motion development of best practices to prevent vehicle-based attacks.
- Mandates that Coast Guard and TSA coordinate security plans and operations to eliminate any jurisdictional security gaps.
- Creates reporting and dissemination standards for cyber incidents involving maritime ports.