Release No. APA 146--98
December 15, 1998
Contact: Rebecca Trexler
The FAA announced new policy initiatives on test object
enforcement and targeted testing of air carrier security screening
FAA expanded the membership of its Aviation Security Advisory
Committee to include representatives of the Aviation Consumer
Action Project and the Victims of Pan Am 103 public interest
The secretary of transportation directed termination of sanctions
that declared that Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires,
Argentina did not maintain effective security measures and
procedures. As a result of technical assistance and training
provided by the FAA, a later airport assessment found adequate
security was maintained.
FAA authorized air carriers to use explosive vapor/particle
detection and enhanced X-ray technology devices for voluntary
use in screening carry-on electrical items when specifically
approved in individual air carrier security programs.
The FAA and Department of Defense executed a memorandum of
agreement calling for the armed forces to apply appropriate
security controls to its military mail prior to tendering it to U.S. air
The Scientific Advisory Panel published its first report assessing
the security research and development program.
The all-cargo air carrier Domestic Security Integration Program
was adopted on a two-year trial basis by three major all-cargo air
The FAA forwarded the report to Congress on air cargo and airmail
security mandated by the Aviation Security Improvement Act of
1990. The classified report contained recommendations for
improving security on cargo and mail transported by passenger
FAA issued a proposed change to the air carrier standard security
program to enhance screener hiring and training standards.
The FAA issued a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
using employment history verification as the primary means of
determining whether an individual should have unescorted access
to airport security areas. The supplemental notice also proposed
requiring criminal history records check for individuals who trigger
criteria established in the proposal. The final rule will be published
in the Federal Register in 1994.
A separate Aviation Security Human Factors program was initiated
in FY 1993. The Screener Proficiency Evaluation and Reporting
System is part of this program.
The secretary of transportation made a determination that security
conditions at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, Nigeria, were not
effective and did not meet minimum ICAO standards. As a result,
immediate public notification of this finding was made to the
traveling public. This finding also resulted in the FAA amending on
an emergency basis the security programs of U.S. and foreign air
carriers that serve the United States from Lagos. In July 1993, a
second assessment was conducted in Lagos. The team reported
no corrective actions and several new security deficiencies. On
Aug. 11, 1993, the secretary suspended air service to Lagos citing
the failure of authorities to satisfactorily correct deficiencies. The
suspension remains in effect today.
With strong support from the FAA and the Department of State,
ICAO's Council adopted Amendment Number 8 to Annex 17. This
amendment strengthened international security standards and
recommended practices in several key areas.
The FAA issued a proposal to amend air carrier standard security
programs to (1) assimilate experience gained during Operations
Desert Shield/Storm from the implementation of special security
procedures at designated international airports, and (2) incorporate
the cargo and mail security recommendations of the FAA report to
The FAA released for public comment the unclassified portions of
the proposed criteria for explosives detection systems that
established performance requirements for certification and
performance testing of explosives detection devices. Comments
received were evaluated and a Federal Register notice that
established the final criteria was published on Sept. 10, 1993.
Draft guidelines for taking security into account during airport
design and construction were completed and were under review by
the Aviation Security Advisory Committee.
The security research and development laboratory for explosives
detection system certification testing opened at the FAA Technical
Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The FAA published a document that defined program requirements
for security research and development, including program
direction, milestones, and priorities.
The final report on federal security manger effectiveness stated
that the initial mission and purpose of the program had been
successful in that it conveyed an early and immediate line of
communication with industry and other FAA counterparts.
A final report on Europe, Africa, and Middle East regional security
communication noted improved onsite problem resolution and
presented recommendations for improved quality assurance
between the region and headquarters.
The Aviation Security Advisory Committee was briefed on the
federal security manager effectiveness evaluation report.
Three prototypes of hardened luggage containers were fabricated
and blast-tested with favorable results, as part of the effort to
develop a certification standard in 1995.
With the posting of a liaison officer in Sydney, Australia, 17
security liaison officers have been assigned to locations
throughout the world to improve communications and serve as a
source of onsite expertise.
FAA/FBI vulnerability assessments at 29 major domestic airports
were completed, results analyzed, and a report to Congress
submitted as required by the Aviation Security Improvement Act
Beginning in March, explosives trace detectors to screen
electrical items in carry-on bags were deployed first at La Guardia,
then later at Atlanta and Dulles airports for operational testing and
evaluation. The results will assist in the preparation of
performance standards for the devices.
FAA appointed regional aviation explosives security coordinators
in each of the nine domestic FAA regions.
A comprehensive FAA physical security management program for
the protection, control and safeguarding of FAA facilities and
assets was established.
The Federal Air Marshal training program was upgraded.
FAA pilot tested aviation explosives security airport surveys at
two major airports.
The FAA Technical Center completed a draft management plan for
certification testing of explosives detection system equipment.
The Federal Register published a notice of the availability of this
document for comment.
Two FAA-owned Thermal Neutron Analysis explosives detection
systems for screening the checked baggage of over 20 U.S. and
foreign flights from the San Francisco International Airport began
operating to improve security while collecting data for evaluation.
FAA directed that aviation explosive security airport surveys be
conducted at the busiest airports in the United States within the
The FAA issued a change to the air carrier standard security
program requiring new, more stringent measures for cargo and
mail aboard passenger aircraft from both domestic and foreign
locations. It also strengthened security rules for international
passenger operations from higher-risk airports overseas.
The agency began rewriting Federal Aviation Regulations Part 107
(Airport Security) and Part 108 (air carrier security).
A federal security manager position in Orlando, Fla., was
established, bringing the number of federal security managers
nationwide to 19.
The FAA's revised contingency plans for airport and air carrier
security, developed for use during periods of increased threat,
were presented to the regulated parties for comment.
A technical report entitled "Recommended Security Guidelines for
New Airport Construction and Major Renovations" was published
and distributed to those with an operational "need-to-know." The
guidelines discuss restricted access areas, passenger flow
control, the efficiency of security screening stations, and the
protection of critical or vulnerable areas of the airport.
The final explosives detection system performance standard was
published in the Federal Register.
The FAA sponsored the first national preboard passenger screener
conference to discuss issues relating to human factors at the
New, modular, screening checkpoint test objects were distributed
to FAA field personnel for evaluation.
The notice of availability of the final management plan for
explosives detection system certification testing was published in
the Federal Register.
A revised change to the air carrier standard security program was
issued to implement minimum standards for hiring, continued
employment, and contracting for air carrier and airport employees
engaged in security-related activities.
The FAA hosted the Sixth International Civil Aviation Security
Conference attended by nearly 400 civil aviation security
professionals from over 40 countries. Explosives detection
systems and other advanced technology, threats to civil aviation,
screening procedures, airport security, the cost of security, and
international standards and cooperation were the primary themes.
The FAA administrator approved an updated "Review of Threats to
The FAA's evaluation of its principle security inspector program
stated the establishment at FAA headquarters of a principle
security inspector position for each of the major air carriers had
resulted in greater responsiveness to industry and more
consistent communication of policy.
A comprehensive review by interested parties of the proposed
revision of the Federal Aviation Regulations governing airport and
air carrier security began with an issue paper sent to the Aviation
Security Advisory Committee for comment.
The FAA initiated an in-depth 9-month evaluation of access control
systems at major airports in the United States. The findings were
the first of a new approach to inspection activities undertaken in
1994 and will be used to focus resources and activities.
The FAA Technical Center chaired a seminar for subject matter
experts from government and industry to discuss elements to for
a domestic passive passenger profile system.
The FAA Technical Center performed a field evaluation of a
domestic passive passenger profile system with Northwest
The AVSEC (Aviation Security) Contingency Plan was developed
and placed in the Airport and Air Carrier Security Programs. The
plan requires air carriers and airports to conduct joint annual
tabletop exercises to simulate implementation of FAA-mandated
countermeasures, identify local operating procedures, and clarify
The FAA Technical Center completed a laboratory demonstration
of a nuclear quadrupole resonance explosives detection device.
The FAA Technical Center began a field trial and data collection
effort at the Los Angeles International Airport to test the InVision
CTX 5000, an explosives detection system.
The AVSEC (Aviation Security) Contingency Plan was
implemented for U.S. air carrier passenger flights to Israel.
Invision Technologies Inc. applied for explosives detection
system certification testing.
The FAA Technical Center performed a successful blast test on
the fifth hardened container prototype.
The FAA performed a field evaluation of enhanced versus black
and white X-ray images for scanning carry-on and checked
baggage at the San Francisco International Airport.
A Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed training package was
distributed to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
The training explained criteria for the "need" to fly armed, provided
information about aircrew security training, promoted an
understanding of differences among air carriers' corporate policies
and provided guidelines on the transportation of prisoners.
FAA delegations met with various foreign air carrier
representatives and government officials to amend the foreign air
carrier security programs and arrive at a level of protection for
passengers similar to that provided on U.S. carriers serving the
The FAA Technical Center performed explosives detection system
certification testing on the InVision CTX 5000.
Explosive vulnerability testing was performed on pressurized
FAA hosted a seminar for analysts from the U.S. intelligence
community to discuss advanced technical means of attacking
aircraft and outline possible countermeasures.
A team was established to rewrite the air carrier standard security
program which implements Federal Aviation Regulation Part 108,
procedures and facilities related to air carrier security. The
completed rewrite is scheduled for publication in fall 1996.
FAA collaborated with Air Transport Association in publishing new
material on improvised explosive device recognition for
incorporation in training materials to assist instructors who conduct
initial and recurrent ground security coordinator training. Screening
company vendors may use several of the elements covered in
this training to meet FAA recurrent training requirements for
The FAA began drafting a paper proposing comprehensive
changes to the model security program governing foreign air
carrier passenger operations to, from and within the United States.
The FAA anticipates issuing the revised program for comment in
the fall of 1996.
The first government/industry workshop on trace explosives
passenger portals was held at the FAA Technical Center.
The FAA and industry cosponsored the Airport Security
Technology Workshop in order to transfer technical information
from the enhanced airport security system project from
government to industry.
The FAA certified the first explosives detection system, the
InVision CTX 5000.
The FAA developed new profile criteria to identify potential
high-risk passengers so the air carriers can better focus additional
security resources. The training program for profilers was updated
and new requirements for testing proposed. Final implementation
is scheduled for winter of 1995.
Philippine Airlines Flight 434 landed safely Dec. 11 after a device
exploded in flight and killed a passenger.
FAA determined that a credible threat existed in Asia-Pacific
region against U.S. air carriers operating through specific airports.
FAA deployed 78 security specialists to 13 airports in eight
Ramzi Yousef was arraigned in U.S. Federal Court for conspiracy
and planning to bomb U.S. commercial airlines serving East Asia.
The secretary of transportation issued a DOT Order requiring
public notification that Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila,
Philippines, did not maintain effective security measures and
procedures. U.S. air carriers serving Ninoy Aquino International
Airport were required to appropriately notify passengers.
Improvements were made and the notification requirement was
removed in March 1996.
The AVSEC (Aviation Security) contingency plan was activated to
counter a UNABOMBER threat to blow up planes at the Los
Angeles International Airport.
The secretary of transportation issued a DOT Order requiring
public notification that El Dorado International Airport in Bogota,
Colombia, did not maintain effective security measures and
procedures. U.S. air carriers serving El Dorado International
Airport were required to appropriately notify passengers.
Improvements were made and the public notification requirement
was lifted in December 1996.
On Aug. 9, the secretary of transportation directed a reasonable
and prudent increase in security measures by airport authorities
and air carriers in the United States.
On Oct. 1, the secretary of transportation asked the FAA to direct
airports and air carriers within the United States to begin
implementation of more stringent measures than those that were
announced Aug. 9
Based on assessments from law enforcement and intelligence
agencies, FAA imposed emergency requirements on airports and
air carriers to raise the level of aviation security at U.S. airports.
The first explosives detection systems demonstration site at San
Francisco International Airport became operational.
The Unescorted Access Privilege Rule requiring people seeking
unescorted access to restricted areas of the airport to have
employment history checks became effective Jan. 31.
The secretary of transportation issued public notification that the
government of Greece was unable to maintain and carry out
effective security measures at the airport in Athens.
Improvements were made and the public notification was removed
On April 24, the president signed the Antiterrorism and Effective
Death Penalty Act of 1996. Section 322 of the act requires foreign
air carriers traveling to and from U.S. airports to have security
measures identical to U.S. air carriers flying from those same
On May 11, ValuJet Flight 592 crashed in the Florida Everglades
as a result of a fire cause by hazardous material in the cargo hold.
None of the 110 people on board survived.
On the morning of July 17, the FAA's Aviation Security Advisory
Committee formed a Baseline Working Group to identify options
and develop recommendations for effective and sustainable
aviation security system improvements.
On evening of July 17, TWA Flight 800 exploded after leaving
John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 passengers
and crew. As of December 1998, the National Transportation
Safety Board has not determined the cause of the accident.
The Olympic Games were held in Atlanta, Georgia, requiring
stringent aviation security.
On July 25, President Clinton announced heightened security
measures and the establishment of the White House Commission
on Aviation Safety and Security.
On August 30, the Baseline Working Group of the Aviation
Security Advisory Committee issued its initial report.
On September 9, the White House Commission on Aviation
Safety and Security issued its initial report covering aviation
security concerns and requested a special FY 1997 budget
supplement to immediately begin implementing its
The Fiscal Year 1997 Department of Transportation Appropriations
Act provided FAA with over $10 million to expand and improve the
dangerous goods and air cargo security program.
FAA began to establish consortia of parties with responsibilities for
aviation security at the nation's commercial airports.
The president signed the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act
of 1997 on Sept. 30. It provided an additional $144 million to
implement commission recommendations as well as new or
expanded aviation security programs and activities.
On Oct. 9, the president signed the Federal Aviation
Reauthorization Act of 1996.
The FAA formed a security equipment integrated product team of
acquisition and security experts to plan, purchase, and install
explosives detection devices and other advanced security
equipment at the busiest U.S. airports, using the $144 million
provided for this purpose by the Omnibus Consolidated
Appropriations Act of 1997.
The FAA began an interference with flight crew pilot project in Los
Angeles and Honolulu.
An FAA-FBI working group on joint threat and vulnerability
assessments at high-risk domestic airports was established.
On Nov. 27, the FAA published the Falsification of Security
Records Rule to prevent the use of falsified documents to obtain
positions allowing unescorted access to secure airport areas.
FAA purchased 54 certified explosives detection systems with
some of $144 million for equipment provided in the Omnibus
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997.
The FAA Security Equipment Integrated Product Team began
installations of explosives detection systems for screening
checked baggage in Chicago and New York.
On Feb. 12, the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and
Security issued its final report, which included 11 additional
recommendations for improving aviation security and six for
improving response to aviation disasters, including assistance to
families of disaster victims. The FAA has primary responsibility
for 21 of these recommendations.
The FAA joined with the Department of Transportation Office of
the Inspector General to conduct special-emphasis testing of air
carrier and indirect air carrier unknown shipper packages.
The FAA completed technology training for airport consortia
On March 19, the FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to
extend background investigations to include screeners.
On March 25, the first FAA-exclusive class of K-9 explosives
detection team handlers graduated from the Military Working Dog
School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.
The FAA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on
certifying screening companies and improving screener training,
which subsequently was delayed until more data becomes
The FAA published the final rule on Sensitive Security Information
that requires airports, air carriers, foreign air carriers, and indirect air carriers to restrict the distribution, disclosure, and availability of sensitive security information to persons with a need to know.
The FAA and Northwest Airlines completed final changes to the
Computer-Assisted Passenger Screening program. Northwest
conducted tests of the new system.
The federal government formally recognized aviation security as a
major element of the U.S. national security strategy against
terrorism in "A National Security Strategy for a New Century"
published by the White House.
On May 12, the Department of Defense convened and the FAA
participated in the Civil Aviation Anti-Missile Defense Task Force
in response to a recommendation of the White House Commission
on Aviation Safety and Security.
On May 14, the FAA issued proposed amendments to the
standard security programs for U.S. air carriers, couriers, freight
forwarders, cargo consolidators, and foreign air carriers to
enhance cargo security.
On May 19, the FAA and the National Academy of Sciences Panel
on Assessment of Technologies for Aviation Security signed an
agreement to study advanced security equipment deployments
and hardened cargo container tests and planned deployments.
On May 26, the FAA submitted a report to Congress on its use of
additional funding provided for its dangerous goods and cargo
On June 3, the FAA completed a pilot program to examine the
feasibility of matching bags with passengers to ensure that the
bags of individuals who do not board aircraft are removed from
the aircraft. This program responds to the White House
Commission's recommendation that passenger-bag matching be
implemented for domestic flights.
On Aug. 1, the FAA issued notices of proposed rulemaking to
revise parts 107 and 108 of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.
The FAA issued a proposal to incorporate clearance and
acceptance security procedures for passengers and their bags
into the air carrier standard security program, implementing in part
a White House Commission recommendation to ensure that all
passengers are identified and subjected to security procedures
before they board aircraft.
On Oct.1, the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division
issued its review of automated and manual passenger screening
systems, which concluded that the systems did not violate
individuals' civil liberties.
On Oct. 4, the FAA administrator signed a memorandum of
understanding between FAA and the National Safe Skies Alliance,
a consortium of organizations proposing a public/private
partnership to assist FAA in the development and testing of
aviation security and safety technologies.
The vulnerability assessment of the national airspace system
architecture was issued in the final report for the President's
Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection.
The K-9 explosives detection team program grew from 87 teams
at 26 airports in 1996, to 128 teams at 37 airports in 1997. FAA
and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are conducting a
joint research project to study alternative methods of training.
On Dec. 23, the FAA administrator and leading U.S. airlines
announced that passenger-bag matching would be expanded using
passenger screening to apply explosives detection systems or
bag matching to domestic passengers' luggage.
The FAA issued a proposal to amend the air carrier standard
security program to strengthen passenger screening and bag
FAA and the FBI conducted the prototype for joint airport
vulnerability assessments at Baltimore-Washington International
Airport as required by the reauthorization act of 1996.
On Jan. 30, the FAA and the National Safe Skies Alliance signed a
cooperative research agreement to establish a test bed for
operational evaluation of new checkpoint screening technologies at
the McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville.
The secretary of transportation issued a DOT Order requiring
public notification that Port-au-Prince International Airport in
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, did not maintain and carry out effective
security measures and procedures. U.S. air carriers serving
Port-au-Prince International Airport were required to appropriately
notify passengers. These requirements remain in effect.
Additional FAA and FBI joint airport vulnerability assessments
were conducted in Phoenix and Honolulu to validate the prototype
and adjust the assessment methodology.
Substantially rewritten proposed amendments to standard security
programs relating to cargo security for U.S. carriers, foreign air
carriers, and indirect air carriers, as well as the voluntary domestic
security integrated program for all-cargo carriers were issued for
review and comment.
A final rule on FAA certification criteria for explosives detection
systems was published on April 13 to amend the existing
standards. The amendment permits the certification of systems
intended to detect detonators (a basic and essential component of
improvised explosive devices) rather than bulk explosives.
FAA amended its advisory circular on the voluntary reporting
program, effective May 4, clearing the way for expanding
voluntary security consortia at U.S. airports beyond the original
The FAA introduced computer-based training for security
screening personnel at the nation's busiest airports. The training
system is part of a Screener Proficiency Evaluation and
Reporting System being developed by the FAA to select, train,
evaluate and monitor the performance of employees who staff
security checkpoints. By the end of the year, 37 computer-based
training workstations will be in use at airports across the nation.
The FAA issued an amendment to the air carrier standard security
program covering clearance procedures for selected bags and
random selection criteria for manual passenger screening.
Presidential Decision Directive 63 on Critical Infrastructure
Protection was issued requiring FAA to develop and implement a
comprehensive security program to protect the modernized
national airspace system from disruptions and attacks.
The FAA reopened until June 26 the comment period for its notice
of proposed rulemaking revising basic security regulations for
airports and air carriers and held two additional "listening" sessions.
On Sept. 5, the FAA published the final rule extending background
check regulations to include screeners.
By Sept. 30, five major airlines and many regional air carriers had
voluntarily implemented Computer-Assisted Passenger Screening
to select passengers whose checked baggage is subjected to
explosives detection system examination or bag matching. All of
the major airline reservation systems will be online by the end of
the year. As airlines voluntarily implement the automated
screening program, FAA is preparing regulations that will require its
On Nov. 23, the FAA published a proposed rule that would require
foreign air carriers flying to and from U.S. airports to have
security measures that are identical to U.S. air carriers serving
the same airports. This proposal would implement a provision of
the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.
The FAA announced that a second explosives detection system
had met its stringent certification testing. The eXaminer 3DX 6000
system manufactured by L-3 Communications and Analogic Corp.
joins InVision Technologies' CTX 5000 and 5500 machines as
FAA-certified explosives detection systems.
By the end of the year, nearly all of the 74 purchased certified
explosives detection systems will be installed at U.S. airports for
use in screening checked bags and more than 327 explosives
trace detection devices will have been deployed for use at the