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Public Statements

Secretary Napolitano Announces New Measures to Strengthen Aviation Security

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Commends Release of Administration's Surface Transportation Security Priority Assessment

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will begin implementing new enhanced security measures for all air carriers with international flights to the United States to strengthen the safety and security of all passengers--superseding the emergency measures put in place immediately following the attempted terrorist attack on Dec. 25, 2009.

These new, more flexible security protocols--tailored to reflect the most current information available to the U.S. government--will apply to all passengers traveling to the United States.

"These new measures utilize real-time, threat-based intelligence along with multiple, random layers of security, both seen and unseen, to more effectively mitigate evolving terrorist threats," said Secretary Napolitano. "The terrorist threat to global aviation is a shared challenge and ensuring aviation security is a shared responsibility. I commend our many partners around the world who have taken steps to increase their own security measures through deployment of new technology, enhanced information sharing and stronger standards to keep air travel safe."

These new, enhanced measures are part of a dynamic, threat-based aviation security system covering all passengers traveling by air to the United States while focusing security measures in a more effective and efficient manner to ensure the safety and security of the traveling public. Passengers traveling to the United States from international destinations may notice enhanced security and random screening measures throughout the passenger check-in and boarding process, including the use of explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, canine teams, or pat downs, among other security measures.

Secretary Napolitano, in conjunction with the United Nations specialized agency International Civil Aviation Organization, has been leading a global initiative to strengthen the international aviation system against the evolving threats posed by terrorists, working in multilateral and bilateral contexts with governments as well as industry. Over the past three months, Secretary Napolitano has participated in regional aviation security summits around the world in Spain, Mexico and Tokyo, forging historic agreements with her international colleagues to strengthen the civil aviation system through enhanced information collection and sharing, cooperation on technological development and modernized aviation security standards.

Secretary Napolitano also commended today's release of the Surface Transportation Security Priority Assessment as another important step in efforts to protect the nation's traveling public from acts of terrorism--conducted by the Obama administration in its first year as a thorough review of the nation's surface transportation security efforts, which cover mass transit, commuter and long-distance passenger rail, freight rail, commercial vehicles and pipelines.

The Assessment was developed through engagement with federal, state, local and tribal government partners as well as the private sector, provides a comprehensive framework of recommendations to enhance surface transportation security.

The Assessment reflects the Obama administration's commitment to coordinating surface transportation security efforts among all government partners and the private sector to enhance security; reduce risk; improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal security capabilities; strengthen interactive stakeholder partnerships; and streamline security management coordination to protect Americans from threats of terrorism. It provides a comprehensive framework for the continued improvement of surface transportation security and identifies discrete areas of focus for the institution of changes that will make the nation safer.


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