TSA’s Secure Flight Hits 100 Percent Mark

All passengers flying domestically and internationally on US airlines are now being checked against government watch lists through the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced late last week.
Napolitano called the achievement the second major step in fulfilling a key 9/11 Commission recommendation achieved in the past month.
"Secure Flight fulfills a key recommendation of the of the 9/11 Commission Report, enabling TSA to screen passengers directly against government watchlists using passenger name, date of birth, and gender before a boarding pass is issued," Napolitano said. "This achievement significantly enhances one of our many layers of security—coordinated with our partners in the airline industry and governments around the world—that we leverage to protect the traveling public against threats of terrorism."
Only three weeks ago TSA reached the goal of 100 percent watchlist checking for all passengers traveling within the United States and its territories against terrorist watchlists.
One of the key components of Secure Flight is the assumption by TSA of responsibility for checking passengers, a job formerly left to individual airlines.
Under the procedures of Secure Flight, TSA prescreens passenger name, date of birth and gender against government watchlists for domestic and international flights. Also under the program’s aegis, 99 percent of passengers are cleared to print boarding passes at home by providing their date of birth, gender and name as it appears on the government ID they plan to use when traveling when booking airline tickets. Individuals found to match watchlist parameters will be subjected to secondary screening, a law enforcement interview or prohibition from boarding an aircraft, depending on the specific case.
The key aim of the program, according to DHS, is to reduce the number of misidentified passengers that occurred under the predecessor program, the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System, (CAPPS).
The new program will require passengers to provide more biographic data such as date of birth and gender, providing more parameters to determine if a passenger is truly on a watchlist or merely has coincidental similarities to people considered true threats to aviation security.
”US airlines account for more than 90 percent of all travel to, from, and within the United States. With this achievement we are pleased to have been a part of this industry/government collaborative effort, working toward fulfilling this extraordinarily ambitious automation security program," said Air Transport Association President and CEO James C. May. "By streamlining processes through a single government entity, Secure Flight is a win-win for passengers—streamlining check-in processes while enhancing security."
TSA began implementing Secure Flight in late 2009 and expects all international carriers with direct flights to the United States to begin using Secure Flight by the end of 2010.
In a move related to Napolitano’s announcement TSA last week issued a Request for Proposal (RFI) for commercial software solutions to help manage its program to check airline passengers against terrorist watch lists.
The winning contractor will install and configure the software on an existing TSA network and provide training.

(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

Leave a Reply