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Mr. OBERSTAR. Our final panel today, should get the subcommittee award for patience, Mr. Arik Arad, General Manager, International Consultants on Targeted Security; and Mr. Steve Gardella, Jr., Consultant, Strategic Security Services, Incorporated, an acquaintance of several years standing who enlightened this member and other members of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight on various aspects of airport security and airline security, and has the distinction of single handedly having stopped an airport takeover, with great risk to personal life, showing enormous personal courage, and skill. That makes you an all the more credible witness. Mr. GARDELLA. Thank you. Thanks for remembering. No one else does. Mr. OBERSTAR. I have never forgotten. It was very graphic testimony, which we received in Executive Session. Mr. Gardella, we'll start with you.


Mr. GARDELLA. Thank you very much for inviting me to be here. Like everybody else, I've been sitting here most of the day and listening to most of this testimony. Mine might be covering the same subjects, but I want to be limited. We have some well known people here that are more articulate than I am, and my mentor, Dick Lally, and the other people from the FAA will probably help me to Some extent. But what I do want to tell the committee, in coming here, there are certain areas that should be addressed immediately and I have some solutions, I believe, that would enhance the security for airlines. I noticed today, also, that the FAA was getting quite a beating and unnecessarily so. However, I don't think that the FAA is a business organization and can respond like they want to respond because of the politics involved. And I don't think the FAA should be beat up over that. Behind me also is Dick Lally from ATA, who's been the articulate catalyst with the airlines, and does a tremendous job. But I think he is under somewhat constraints. Also behind me is a man by the name of Homer Boynton, formerly of the FBI, and does American Airlines a very fabulous job. But the areas that I'd like to address here is number one, is card access. And that's been discussed quite at length. I think that the system that is in process today is one that is deplorable because 10 years ago when I was in the industry, we recommended another system, one that the Armed Forces uses, that is one of the best and still used today. And it fell on deaf ears. The other area that I would like to elaborate on by questions is explosive detection. As you know, Congressman, I'm also a consultant to SAIC, and a few other organizations. My main concern here tonight, where I think something should have been yesterday, and it should be implemented tomorrow, and it was not mentioned today. And that is our air freight system. There's an FAR 109, 109 states that a freight forwarder must have a standard security plan and be able to screen those packages going into the belly. And I am almost a person of positive feeling that if an explosive device is going to be implemented it's such an easy way to do it, not by some martyr getting on an aircraft. Now since this has been in existence since 1979, I don’t think the FAA has been held accountable with freight forwarders and asking them, what is their security plan. If we're going to do something in the United States and internationally by freight forwarding, I think that it should be taken care of as a top priority by the FAA today. And every piece of freight should be examined. And I think the method right now, until it's implemented, should be by x-ray. I think that they should be held accountable, not that we're going to put it off on some planning in the near future. I want accountability today. Mr. OBERSTAR. I fully agree with that. I had written a note to myself when the FAA was testifying earlier. I just wrote the word Combi, question mark. Combi aircraft are in high use by European carriers. For those who aren't familiar with the term, it simply means aircraft that are combination. They carry passengers and a high percentage of freight. And the European carriers have learned that there is big money to be made in carrying both passengers and freight, and those Combi aircraft are in increasingly greater use by our European carriers, and are therefore very vulnerable. It's very easy, it seems to me, to plant a device in that freight, and that isn't going through these extensive checks, as we've been discussing today with passenger luggage. Mr. GARDELLA. That's correct, sir. There was a comment made by a well known New York attorney, that came out in the law journal that really bothers me and I wanted to say it maybe 22 times when I heard all this testimony. And he states, he doesn't have to have the gift of proving negligence, it's always there. Now, if we're operating with negligence every day and making these attorneys rich, I think it's about high time we stop it and put them out of work, in getting to do our job, number one, by being smarter and being productive. And there are . to do it without having big cost overruns and doing a lot of things. One of the things that the FAA needs today, and I shared it with Monte Belger because at least he listens to me, he don't answer my letters, he don't answer any telegrams, but least we had some dialogue out here. And they need consultants. There is no substitute for experience. You've got people on the outside that were with the airlines that have retired that are just biting at the bit to come in to help in every respect, that have handled the situations before, not a hypothetical situation, not an armchair quarterback. It's time to use the consultants. Big corporations use them. In fact, I do very well being a consultant. The other thing that's needed immediately is certification of the pre-board screener. About two years ago in your office, I think we brought it up that we should have an academy. Dick Lally took hours and hours, and hours, while I was with the airlines and put a program together for this type of certification. And there were other people on his task force that assisted him, and it wasn't even accepted. And the work that Dick Lally did for the industry to implement this certification, because in my private sector, as you well know, I do the security for the San Diego Chargers, professional golf tournaments. But we implement a training program to address those systems. So I think definitely that that has to be on the forefront. My other big beef, using my vernacular, that I think should be implemented right away, and I brought it to your attention once before, and I just brought it to Monte Belger's attention here. Every air carrier servicing the United States, a domestic carrier, should have a professional security officer with them. If the railroads are doing it, why in the hell aren't we doing it here today? ATA only represents, I think 23, maybe 28 air carriers. Today, I think the count is right, that we have 160 certified passenger carriers. And I think the FAA could do some exact figures on that. One of the final things that I’d like to bring to the committee's attention is the fast packages. And through Astrophysics Research, they loaned me an x-ray, and through the cooperation of U.S. Air, and I hope maybe Congressman Oberstar, you call up Colodny and tell him thank you for at least doing this experiment in Los Angeles. We are taking packages from curbside check-ins on fast packaging and running them through an x-ray. You have no idea what is coming through there. Now, from the freight, from Lieutenant Lang of the Bomb Squad, of L.A., not too long ago, they got 36 hand grenades coming through the freight end of it. Now what does that tell you? It tells us a lot, that we're not looking where we should be looking. We know that that freight was destined for Philippine, and the bomb people that support the airlines should be here testifying here also. But from that project, from 90 days, I hope we will get such a learning curve, and I shared that with Monte. And I think that he's going to address that situation. One of the other things that happens to a person like myself after you leave the airlines and you do consulting work, I have been contacted by CBS, NBC, ABC, and all the affiliates to them, to reveal inadequacies to assist them. And if you did that, and if I would have gone along with that, it would have just created a disaster. But let me tell you, right today, even what happened in Burbank, California two weeks ago, where there was no one on duty, and everybody walked to the aircraft, it created havoc. Now those people are out here searching today, for some loophole to find that. And I think that is grossly wrong. And Dick Lally has addressed that in many situations, to stop it. Also, in the law journal, which I became a reader of, not because I'm an attorney, but another comment was made, and I’ve got a copy of that law journal where there's 27 distinguished attorneys now in the aviation law business. And I can show you their pictures here if you'd like it. One of the attorneys had come up and said, now, we may be not looking at the Warsaw Convention like we did years ago, because it's outdated. But now he's looking for an aircraft to be bomb worthiness. And he proposes, by the same token, by putting x-rays in the hold of the aircraft, so the pilot can see what's going on in the bottom. I imagine that's for heavy 747s. There are a lot of things you can do, and I will say right now there would be no expense to the Government, and I don’t think it would be too much expense. Homer Boynton mentioned to me, and I kind of listened, because operationally that's his responsibility. You can bring in all kinds of technology today, but there are unproven situations come operationally. So when you do things of this nature, you want to be able to give it a test before you go out and spend $10 million on something. But let me recommend to you what I feel could be implemented right today. And I’ve talked to the FAA about it, and like I say, I don’t know what they’ve thought about it. In the pre-board screening process, every x-ray should have a video camera on it. Videoing what that comes through on the x-ray, looking at that package, looking at that person, looking at that cassette. And I've recommended it on explosive detection, that they do the same thing. When every bag is inspected, they should videotape that. After the flight is terminated, and you could throw the tape away, or either use it for a training purpose, but if they had that from Pan Am 103, you might have got some part, and I refer to the Congressman's law enforcement background—a part of the corpus delicti, you've got intelligence and you've got something to start working on that you can make an immediate change. And when you start that, I feel it would maybe cost in our domestic system, about $30,000 to $50,000 to video everything. At least now, the way our social system is dictating to us, when you make a police arrest for a drunk, you've got to video it. You're going to see more things happening and give you more intelligence where you've got the productivity. And I would say in my closing comment, that from my perception, being a consultant, being from the airlines business and being retired three times, the airlines are doing the best they possibly can. And by the way, I'm still a marlin fisherman, and I'm back in the tournament in Hawaii May 10th. [Laughter.] But there are a lot of things you could do right now. And when you sit here all day long and listen to this, I see too many excuses. And there's no sense for an excuse any more. And if I was at the helm—and you don't win by a war by excuses either. And if I was at the helm, I would start, number one, videoing everything that comes through, examining that freight forwarder where they could hold it a day if they don't know what's coming through, and at least you've done something that the public knows that you've gotten productivity and you're starting to create that safe environment which you need to do like yesterday. Thank you very much, and I stand ready to answer any questions after my learned colleague here from another perception can give it to you. Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you very much, Steve. That's most helpful testimony, and very valuable insight into the testimony we've received today, and into the problem that we're confronting. We appreciate that very, very greatly. Mr. Arad. Mr. ARAD. Chairman Oberstar.

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