The traveling public will get a voice in improving security with a decision by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who have announced the reestablishment of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC). The committee will provide advice and recommendations for improving aviation security measures to the administrator of TSA. The reestablishment of the ASAC was a key recommendation of U.S. Travel's recent report on aviation security.
"Travelers and the private sector once again have a formal voice within the TSA, thanks to the reestablishment of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "We commend Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Pistole for their leadership in reestablishing this important committee, and we look forward to recommending travel industry leaders for membership."
For almost two decades, the FAA and then TSA operated an ASAC that engaged a wide array of interested stakeholders in a dialogue on aviation security issues and policies. The ASAC members took the time to consider and learn difficult and technological issues and made meaningful recommendations to the FAA and then to TSA. Unfortunately, TSA has not convened even a single meeting of this federal advisory council since 2006, cutting off a valuable tool for TSA to engage a broader range of stakeholders than just airlines and airports.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the reestablished ASAC will be composed of individual members representing private-sector organizations of key constituencies affected by aviation security requirements, including: victims of terrorist acts against aviation; law enforcement and security experts; aviation consumer advocates; airport tenants and general aviation; airport operators; airline management; airline labor; aircraft and security equipment manufacturers; and air cargo representatives.
In the weeks ahead, the U.S. Travel Association said they will be advocating for key travel industry leaders to serve on the committee.