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"Airport Security: Statutory Experience in a Regulatory Environment"
- To: help@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: CAA: Mutual Help List, "Airport Security: Statutory Experience in a Regulatory Environment"
- From: John Lawson <jlawson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 06 May 2002 08:11:08 -0700
- Reply-To: help@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Sender: help-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Steve - good time to bring this up. My comments are entirely mine, and
may be worth what you paid for them. :-)
>In light of TSA's apparent desire to place people with largely law enforcement
>backgrounds in the Federal >Security Director (FSD) positions, I thought it
>might be useful to start a discussion on how we in the >industry think this
>will play out.
>I contend that, while there are some similarities, the regulatory environment
>is distinctly different from >the statutory in a number of important ways.
> The regulatory rule making process includes opportunities for industry and
>members of the public to >comment.
> The legislative process sometimes results in statutes with very little input
>from stakeholders and is far >less inclusive by comparison.
>49 CFR Part 1542 (Airport Security) lays out a framework on which an airport,
>in effect, writes their own >local security regulations (subject to
>CASFO approval) in the form of an Airport Security Program (ASP) document.
>Optimally, ASP language should be >detailed enough to provide broad guidance,
>and 'loose' enough to permit judgment. Each airport's ASP and its
>>implementation is different.
This is quite similar to the Part 139 airport certification process.
139 lays out the general guidelines, and the airport writes the
certification manual that spells out how it will follow 139. Upon
approval by the airport certification people, the manual in effect has
the force of Federal regulation and must be followed as same.
However, one difference that I see: responsibilities for airport
security are more "divided" than they are for airport certification.
Most of the airport certification requirements are the direct
responsibility of the airport and can/should be addressed by airport
management. However, when it comes to security, airports depend more on
their tenants to follow procedures and meet the spirit and intent of
regulations and requirements, and getting tenants to cooperate can be
like herding cats...not always easy to do. Also, airports have been
saddled with a lot of responsibility in regards to airport security, but
at times without having the requisite enforcement authority.
>There is no analogous process in the statutory environment.
>I suggest that people from a statutory enforcement background, sans aviation
>experience, will, at least >initially, give very little weight to operational
That's happening now. TSA is putting out directives without considering
the resources available to airports or thinking of the impact (for
example, LEOs at the screening points and the inability of many Cat IV
airports to provide the LEOs). TSA is now writing a directive to
consider the problems that small airports have in meeting that
requirement, only after a considerable amount of hollering and gnashing
of teeth...if they'd bothered to talk to the airports first, they might
have saved both themselves and the airports some time and headaches.
As you mentioned, the movers and shakers in TSA are not former
airport/aviation people...they're former DEA/Customs/FBI/Secret Service
people who, in their prior lives, didn't have to worry so much about the
effects of their actions on "customers". I'm speculating that they may
not be much inclined to listen to the FAA security folks who moved over
to TSA...when 9/11 occurred, FAA lost a lot of credibility on aviation
security issues and I'd hazard a guess that those former FAA folks may
not have much say in things.
>On the plus side, these people are being brought in at the highest level of
>the Federal Civil Service. >Anyone familiar with Senior Executive Service
>(SES) members of the government will know they actually 'run' >the
>bureaucracy. TSA likes to refer to these FSD's as their 'Field Marshals'.
>Strong managerial skills and a >track record of making things happen could be
>a big help. Establishing a personal rapport with FSD's based on >credibility
>and mutual respect should get us off on the right foot.
That could be true...but in the meantime, we don't have FSDs, we have
interim TSA representatives, many of whom are former FAA security
people, who (as I've noted above) may not have much credibility within
TSA when it comes to making the "big decisions." It'll be a while
before they get those FSDs down to our levels (especially us little
airports), so in the meantime, we have the TSA in DC making all these
decisions without a whole lot of input from the airports.
Comments/dissent encouraged, especially from the small airports. We're
the ones that are impacted the greatest by what's happening in airport
security, and we need to speak up.
John Lawson, A.A.E.
Beaufort County SC
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