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-7screen baggage with a high success rate (95%) and a low false alarm rate (4%). I should add that the high success rate was attained finding minimal quantities of explosives, and would be higher with larger amounts of explosive material. I would further note that the radioactive elements of the TNA system are well within prescribed safety levels and pose no threat to system operators or passengers. As announced last week by Secretary Skinner, the first TNA system will be deployed at New York’s
Kennedy International Airport.
Research is also underway on an explosive vapor detection system for checking people for explosives. Last October at Boston Logan Airport, we tested a prototype walk-up explosive detection booth designed to detect the entire spectrum of explosives which may be carried by a saboteur. The false alarm rate was exceptionally low--less than 1+--but the time to test each passenger was about 30 seconds. The manufacturer is working now on reducing that time frame to about 6 seconds per passenger. We hope to have the
improved device available for testing next year.
We also are continuing work to develop improved weapons detection capabilities, including efforts for the detection of plastic weapons, and are conducting an evaluation of state-of-the-art detection equipment which is commercially available. Further, we continue to solicit new ideas from the scientific and academic community with a view toward identifying and developing additional
tools that will enhance security.
-8All of these efforts are important to improving civil aviation security, and they will continue. Additionally, though, we must continue to work in the international arena to develop an international approach to end terrorism in the skies. As you are aware, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) already has in place a set of security standards and recommended practices, incorporated into Annex 17 to the Chicago Convention. One hundred fifty-nine countries have acceded to that convention. We believe the measures set out in Annex 17 are fundamentally sound, but, like our own security measures, they must periodically
be reviewed and updated.
Last month, Secretary Skinner attended a Council Session of ICAO called specifically to address the sabotage of Pan Am Flight lo:3. Nine other ministers responsible for civil aviation and 23 additional countries’ permanent ICAO representatives participated as well. Secretary Skinner spoke with each of those ministers during the two-day ICAO meeting and with many of the other senior government officials present. They made it clear to Secretary Skinner that they are willing to join us to do all that is necessary to make international civil aviation secure from
As a result of that meeting, the 33-member ICAO Council
unanimously adopted a resolution setting out a plan of action
-9that, we are confident, will lead to strengthened security procedures throughout the world. As a matter of highest priority, ICAO will review existing international standards applicable to all operations to determine what changes are necessary in light of recent events. It will also consider developing a set of extraordinary measures to put in place when increased threat levels exist. Further, participants at the Council agreed to expedite research and development on detection of explosives and to explore the possibility of establishing an international regime
for the marking of explosives.
Secretary Skinner has sparked other initiatives as well. He has
and recommended practices contained in ICAO Annex 17 as the
-10yardstick against which those plans will be measured. This will enable us to better ensure that the security precautions followed by foreign airlines serving the United States are adequate to meet
the threats ascribed to those operations.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, I would like to emphasize the strength of our commitment to stop the threat of criminal actions directed against civil aviation. It is a difficult challenge, but one that we must meet. We thank this Subcommittee for its longstanding support of the FAA’s aviation security efforts, and we look forward to continuing our work with you on these key issues which
are so important to the traveling public.
That completes my prepared statement, Mr. Chairman. I would be
pleased to respond to any questions you may have at this time.