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Public Statements

Protecting the Nation's Passenger Aviation System

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

PROTECTING THE NATION'S PASSENGER AVIATION SYSTEM

Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, last week I joined Massport CEO Craig Coy, Logan Airport's Federal Security Director George Naccara, and Congressman Stephen F. Lynch to mark a significant milestone in our efforts to better protect the Nation's passenger aviation system. The occasion was the announcement that the Transportation Security Administration and Massport had reached an agreement concerning Federal reimbursements for Massport's installation of a comprehensive explosive detection baggage screening system.

That the announcement was made at Logan Airport was fitting because since 9/11 Massport has been a leader among airport operators in strengthening aviation security. In fact, Logan was the only major airport in the country to have met the deadline mandated by Congress in the Aviation and Transportation Security Act by having its permanent baggage screening system up and running by December 31, 2002.

In order to accomplish this feat, Massport had to invest nearly $146 million of its own money before it was clear that the Federal Government would reimburse any of these costs. Additionally, meeting this deadline required the around-the-clock efforts of over 700 laborers who completed 2 years of construction in less than 6 months. Finally, this effort required Massport to work in close collaboration with the Transportation Security Administration, an agency headed by dedicated and talented professionals, but also one that, having just been created, was still working to define its mission and scope in the 9/11 environment.

While there are still many security enhancements to be completed at Logan—as there are at every major airport in the country—solid and consistent progress is being made under Massport's new CEO, Craig Coy, and his management team.
Just as they have done with regard to the new baggage screening system, Massport's leadership, security officials, and professional staff continue to work to define complex security challenges and to meet those challenges. And I believe they are setting a very strong example for those public agencies across the country charged with the complicated and costly responsibilities of protecting key pieces of our Nation's transportation, energy transmission, and public health infrastructure.

The manner in which Massport is approaching these new challenges is outlined succinctly in an April 1 Boston Business Journal editorial by John A. Quelch, a Harvard Business School professor and the current chairman of the board of the Massachusetts Port Authority. The performance model Quelch describes is, I think, instructive for other public agencies—and some corporate boards—that are struggling to adopt a governance structure that encourages performance and works to eliminate obstacles to achievement.

I ask unanimous consent to print the text of Chairman Quelch's article in the RECORD.

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