ACI-NA Meets with DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano

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DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano held a meeting with key industry leaders to discuss airport security and facilitation issues on Monday. Greg Principato, ACI-NA President, Frank Miller, San Antonio Airport Director and ACI-NA Board Security Task Force Chair, Jim Bennett, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority President and Chief Executive Officer and AAAE Vice Chair, Christopher Bidwell, ACI-NA Vice President of Security and Facilitation, Todd Hauptli and Carter Morris of AAAE, were all in attendance to share their ideas on how DHS, TSA and airports could coordinate more effectively.

Secretary Napolitano identified the following initiatives she wants DHS, TSA and the industry to work collaboratively to address:

  • Deployment of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) to airports
  • Using Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) to screen passengers’ palms
  • Expanded use of TSA proprietary canines at airports

Principato led the industry dialogue by explaining that since security measures are implemented at airports, it is critical that DHS and TSA coordinate their initiatives with the industry. Given the global nature of the aviation industry, Principato applauded the Secretary’s efforts to work with other countries toward the development of uniform security standards and offered the assistance of ACI as the officially accredited airport representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization. The offer was accepted enthusiastically.

The Secretary was interested to hear about the impact of the enhanced security measures at Canadian airports and pledged to evaluate alternative procedures that minimize the operational impacts.

All participants recommended better communication with the industry and asked the Secretary to support ACI-NA’s In-Depth Security Review initiative to evaluate all airport Security Directives, identify outdated requirements for clarification and rescind those measures that are duplicative or no longer make sense given the evolution of the threat and/or countermeasures.

-Christopher Bidwell