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U.S. Travel Panel to Probe Air Travel Security

March 17, 2010 By: George Dooley

Frustrated travelers angered by air travel security screening and who are turning away from air travel will be a focus for a new blue ribbon panel formed by the U.S. Travel Association. U.S. Travel said the “Blue Ribbon Panel for Frictionless Security” will create a vision for the world’s most secure, efficient and customer-friendly air travel security screening process. The group expects to deliver a blueprint for a secure and efficient air security screening system to members of Congress and the Obama Administration this summer.

The group, formed on the heels of the attempted Christmas Day bombing, features prominent security and facilitation experts, including Tom Ridge, former secretary of Homeland Security; Robert Crandall, former president and CEO of American Airlines; Jim Turner, former Democratic congressman and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee; Dave Bronzek, president and CEO of FedEx Express; and Sam Gilliland, president and CEO of Sabre Holdings.

“The U.S. Travel Association understands the frustration of American travelers, and we, too, believe there is a better way,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “We’re bringing together the foremost experts on air security to create a vision for a process that maximizes security and minimizes the burden on air travelers. Two million Americans who travel by air daily are in need of a champion in Washington.”

Recent research reveals growing traveler frustration with the air travel security screening process and a significant negative economic impact from fewer travelers flying due to unnecessary “hassles.” A February travelhorizons survey by the U.S. Travel Association revealed that 84 percent of travelers negatively equate air travel security screening with the process they experience at their local department of motor vehicles and 80 percent believe that customer service can be enhanced with strengthening security.

The panel includes experts in aviation security, queuing, technology, privacy and economics. U.S. Travel will also solicit the opinions of frequent travelers.

The panel will provide a fresh evaluation of the air travel security system, exploring new technologies and best practices from around the world. Setting politics and current cost constraints aside, the panel will engage in a fact-based analysis of process improvements, technology, human capital management, physical infrastructure, capital investments, and privacy protections.

Panel Chairs

*    Tom Ridge, former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
*    Jim Turner, former ranking democratic member of the House Homeland Security Committee
*    Sam Gilliland, chairman and CEO of Sabre Holdings

Panel Members

*    David Bronczek, president and CEO of FedEx Express
*    Bob Crandall, former president and CEO of American Airlines
*    Fred Dust, partner and practice lead at IDEO
*    Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at CATO
*    Kevin Hassett, senior fellow and director of economic policy studies at American Enterprise Institute
*    Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, former staff director of the House Homeland Security Committee
*    Kathryn “Kitty” Higgins, former board member of the National Transportation Safety Board
*    Robert Jamison, former deputy administrator at the Transportation Security Administration
*    Kathleen Kraninger, former deputy assistant secretary for screening coordination at the Department of Homeland Security
*    Michael Lind, policy director of the Economic Growth Program, New America Foundation
*    Mo McGowan, former federal security director for Dallas/Fort Worth Airport at the Transportation Security Administration
*    Ajay Mehra, executive vice president at OSI Systems and president of Rapiscan Systems
*    Rick “Ozzie” Nelson, director of the Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies
*    Rick Patrick, vice president at L-1 Identity Solutions
*    Thomas Ripp, president of L-3 Security and Detection Systems
*    Stephanie Rowe, former assistant administrator for Transportation Threat Assessment & Credentialing at the Transportation Security Administration
*    Bennet Waters, former deputy assistant administrator at the Transportation Security Administration


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