For Immediate Release

Release No. APA 146--98
December 15, 1998
Contact: Rebecca Trexler
Phone: 202-267-8521

June 1992: The FAA announced new policy initiatives on test object enforcement and targeted testing of air carrier security screening checkpoints. 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 organizations. 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 carriers overseas. The Scientific Advisory Panel published its first report assessing the security research and development program.

July 1992: The all-cargo air carrier Domestic Security Integration Program was adopted on a two-year trial basis by three major all-cargo air carriers.

August 1992: 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 aircraft. FAA issued a proposed change to the air carrier standard security program to enhance screener hiring and training standards.

September 1992: 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.

October 1992: 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.

November 1992: 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 Congress. 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.

December 1992: The FAA published a document that defined program requirements for security research and development, including program direction, milestones, and priorities.


January 1993: 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.

February 1993: The Aviation Security Advisory Committee was briefed on the federal security manager effectiveness evaluation report.

March 1993: 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 of 1990. 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.

April 1993: A comprehensive FAA physical security management program for the protection, control and safeguarding of FAA facilities and assets was established.

May 1993: The Federal Air Marshal training program was upgraded. FAA pilot tested aviation explosives security airport surveys at two major airports.

June 1993: 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 next year.

July 1993: 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.

August 1993: 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.

September 1993: 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 security checkpoints. New, modular, screening checkpoint test objects were distributed to FAA field personnel for evaluation.

October 1993: 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 Civil Aviation."

November 1993: 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.

December 1993: 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.


January 1994: 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.

February 1994: 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.

March 1994: The FAA Technical Center performed a field evaluation of a domestic passive passenger profile system with Northwest Airlines. 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 responsibilities.

May 1994: The FAA Technical Center completed a laboratory demonstration of a nuclear quadrupole resonance explosives detection device.

June 1994: 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.

July 1994: The AVSEC (Aviation Security) Contingency Plan was implemented for U.S. air carrier passenger flights to Israel.

August 1994: 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.

September 1994: 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 same airports.

October 1994: The FAA Technical Center performed explosives detection system certification testing on the InVision CTX 5000. Explosive vulnerability testing was performed on pressurized KC-135 airframes. 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.

November 1994: 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 screeners. 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.

December 1994: 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.


January 1995: 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 countries.

April 1995: 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.

June 1995: 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.

August 1995: 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.

October 1995: 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.

November 1995: The first explosives detection systems demonstration site at San Francisco International Airport became operational.


January 1996: 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.

March 1996: 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 in May.

April 1996: 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 airports.

May 1996: 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.

July 1996: 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.

August 1996: On August 30, the Baseline Working Group of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee issued its initial report.

September 1996: 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 recommendations. 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.

October 1996: 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.

November 1996: 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.

December 1996: FAA purchased 54 certified explosives detection systems with some of $144 million for equipment provided in the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997.


January 1997: The FAA Security Equipment Integrated Product Team began installations of explosives detection systems for screening checked baggage in Chicago and New York.

February 1997: 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 members.

March 1997: 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 available. 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.

April 1997: The FAA and Northwest Airlines completed final changes to the Computer-Assisted Passenger Screening program. Northwest conducted tests of the new system.

May 1997: 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 security program.

June 1997: 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.

August 1997: 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.

October 1997: 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.

December 1997: 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 clearance procedures. 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.


January 1998: 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.

February 1998: Additional FAA and FBI joint airport vulnerability assessments were conducted in Phoenix and Honolulu to validate the prototype and adjust the assessment methodology.

April 1998: 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.

May 1998: 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 41 consortia. 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.

September 1998: 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 use.

November 1998: 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.

December 1998: 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 screening checkpoints.