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mindful that compatibility would be an excellent accomodation but it does not necessarily, over a national basis, buy us increased security. It is certainly more convenient for people to have an access card that would allow them access through Chicago as it would through JFK, but the fact of the matter is that that should be an individual airport operator's responsibility to establish those controls in concert and in conjunction with the air carriers that serve that airport.
Mr. OBERSTAR. Next month, the passenger and checked baggage reconciliation systems will be strengthened to take into account pre-existing gaps in the system. That refers to interlining.
One of the questions raised by private security providers and airport operators and the airlines is adequacy of baggage check on passengers moving from one line to another and from one unsecured airport to a sterile area in a secured airport. Are you at liberty to describe for us the steps that are being taken?
Mr. SALAZAR. I believe so. The second phase of the international requirements, sir-and its origin is basically an international requirement that we also require U.S. air carriers that are operating internationally to adhere to, and foreign air carriers operating within the United States as well—is that there must be a full, positive passenger reconciliation. In other words, when a passenger goes on board, there must be a system that identifies that the bag is on board with that passenger.
Now, the international requirement provides that each member state could implement this full reconciliation, or subject that bag to some other type of security control. We have defined in this country what that security control is.
Specifically to your point, in April a second phase now comes in to being for checked baggage. Whereas before the airlines must have looked at what we consider online passengers—in other words, the same carrier transferring baggage to the same carrierthe second phase now must take into account interlining baggage, that is, a different carrier to a different carrier, and how they match that baggage to that passenger. And more importantly, and probably the most difficult of all, how a carrier now must be able to account for any passenger that disembarks at an intermediate point, how they can account for that individual and then be able to identify baggage and deal with it under security control.
Mr. OBERSTAR. Is technology presently available to do this, to do the positive match of baggage to passenger, and determine whether a passenger may have left a flight at an intermediate point and his baggage remained on board?
Mr. SALAZAR. I believe technology has been developed and explored through the efforts of the International Air Transportation Association. In particular, I believe they are fairly successful in developing administrative or computer systems that provide a carrier with reasonable assurance of those kinds of security methods.
Where it becomes fairly difficult is where each airline is applying the very same standard in the very same way, so that on interlines the receiving airline has some assurance that some security control was applied to that baggage. So in fact the ideal situation would be a fully-automated system, and I am sure the carriers in
the subsequent panel could describe to you in detail what their advances are in that area.
Mr. OBERSTAR. Now, that matter of baggage and passengers being together on the same flight, where you have a dedicated terrorist who is willing to sacrifice his or her own life, that may diminish in significance. But in most cases the terrorists are as cowardly as they are destructive, and are willing to go to some lengths to leave a bag on board.
In the most recent case, is there evidence that a bag was not associated with a passenger on board?
Mr. SALAZAR. We're not at liberty, sir, to discuss the details of the ongoing investigation.
However, the requirement for full, positive passenger reconciliation does in fact have some security benefits. But we view that the greatest benefit is used in redundant systems. It is this system and other security systems, so that you build as many barriers as possi
so that it will prevent just exactly what you described, an indi vidual who can go on board, leave a device, and then merely walk away and not suffer the consequences.
Mr. OBERSTAR. You said the word that I was looking for, the redundancy. Just as Federal Aviation Agency regulations build redundancy into aircraft construction and into maintenance programs to provide cushions of safety or margins of safety, as I have called them in the past, so in security there must be margins of safety and redundancy and backup systems, and doing all that we can to prevent or deter the obvious. If we can at least do that and do it effectively and credibly, then we will have taken a very large and important and effective step in the right direction.
Does the gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Lewis, have some questions?
Mr. LEWIS. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. OBERSTAR. Does the Foreign Airport Security Act that was reported out of this committee and that was enacted into law two years ago require strengthening in any respects that you can think of at this point?
Put otherwise, Mr. Ambassador and Mr. Belger, do you believe that from the standpoint of your respective departments you have all the authority in law that you need to take the actions necessary, both domestically and in international trade, to assure security?
Mr. BELGER. From our perspective, I think that the legislation as it currently exists is adequate. It gives us the authority and flexibility to work in a cooperative way with those governments to find a solution to improve security at those airports. It has been very effective.
Ambassador McMANAWAY. I would agree with that, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. OBERSTAR. Then it comes down to a matter of research and development to produce those detection devices of ever-increasing sophistication to detect explosives. Perhaps it's possible that with technology in place at the time of Pan Am 103, that device-whatever it was-might not have been detected by then-available technology and maybe something new would have been more effective. Maybe it would have been detected by available technology.
But beyond that, beyond the research and development, an area where I have criticized the FAA in the past for not devoting sufficient resources, and I have made very strong appeals to my colleagues in the Congress to appropriate the necessary research and development funds, is the training of people who are providing security at airports. We know that those who attend the magnetometers are, for the most part, minimum wage people with minimum training, that the FAA does not have extensive Federal Air Regulations governing detailed training of such personnel.
We know that that's a boring job. It is also a boring job looking for cracks alongside rivets on the hull of an aircraft. It is a boring job looking for corrosion and weakening of structural members during inspection of aircraft, but it's one that has to be done. It is one that is done very effectively when you have exceptionally welltrained personnel. So the training of people is the essential, indispensible ingredient. Your machines aren't going to do this for us; people are going to do it. People are going to provide security. Training our own first, and those of other countries next, making sure that other countries do all that they can, is ultimately the guarantor of security.
I agree with everything you have said, but I would be remiss if I didn't make a pitch for the program you have already very helpfully mentioned-our program in which we have trained 7,200 people since the beginning of the program from 39 different countries.
But I would like to point out that what we're talking about here are pro-active-type measures. Our Government has a very proactive counterterrorism program and policy. It involves not just the "no concessions" policy, with which we are all familiar, but we spend a lot of time and a lot of effort going after states that support terrorism. We don't believe that terrorist organizations can pull off a Pan Am 103 without state support from somewhere. We go after them. We are looking for ways-constantly working with our allies and working unilaterally—to make them pay, to make it too costly for them to continue to support terrorist groups.
We also have a very active program that gets into law enforcement. It really is the bread and butter of our activities, and that is identifying terrorists, tracking them, getting them apprehended, getting them prosecuted, and getting them punished. You may have read last week where we captured Fawaz Younis, brought him to this country, and prosecuted him, found him guilty and sentenced him.
That's a very big part of it, as well. We have to do all the things we've been talking about here, but we also have to make the ter
Mr. OBERSTAR. I appreciate that comment very much.
Mr. BELGER. Mr. Chairman, I could not agree with you more. Any safety system must rely upon procedures, equipment, and people. In many systems, it is the human element that is the weakest link that sometimes needs the most attention.
We also have a very aggressive technical assistance and training program in the FAA. We are putting a great deal of emphasis on
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providing to the airlines for use by their passenger screening people some updated and hopefully helpful training materials to make them better able to detect these types of very sophisticated devices that we are concerned about today.
We cannot ignore the human factor implications of the people who do this kind of work. I am aware that the airlines have an initiative to look at the human element in this system, and that might be something you would want to ask of them later. They are clearly an integral part of the system.
Mr. OBERSTAR. There's no question about it. We certainly appreciate that.
The gentleman from California, Mr. Packard?
We prevent the distribution, production, and manufacture of certain drugs until they have been adequately tested. We pass rules and regulations that prevent plastic guns from being produced without certain detectable parts to them for surveillance.
Is it possible for us to prevent or to ban the manufacture and production and distribution of explosives until there are detection devices that would allow them to be detectable?
Mr. SALAZAR. If I may, sir, I believe that there are always legislative remedies to these kinds of things, but I think certainly that the FAA in particular would still have to be on guard and still advance this technology and still look for the best methods of finding these kinds of explosives or articles even though they are banned, because there will always be other countries that may not abide, and there may be unscrupulous manufacturers, as well.
Mr. PACKARD. Thank you.
[The prepared statements of Mr. Belger and Ambassador McManaway follow:)
STATEMENT OF MONTE BELGER, ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR AVIATION STANDARDS, FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION, SUBCOMMITTEE ON AVIATION, CONCERNING AVIATION SECURITY. MARCH 21, 1989.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
I am pleased to appear before the Subcommittee today to describe briefly for you the FAA's efforts to combat the threat of terrorist activity against civil aviation, and to highlight some of our activities under the International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1985. with me today is Mr. Raymond Salazar, FAA's Director of civil Aviation Security.
I an attaching to my prepared statement information that the
associated with the FAA's aviation security programs.
of course, be pleased to discuss those issues further with you.
I welcome the Subcommittee's hearing today as an example of the
commitment of all segments of government to come to grips with the
threat of terrorism. The recent tragedy of Pan Am Flight 103 highlights the seriousness of that threat, and reinforces that we must do all that is technologically and humanly possible to reduce that threat to the traveling public. We must demonstrate a firm and unwavering resolve to counter whatever new measures might be instituted by the criminals who would hold our air