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"Legislation Aimed At Protecting Airport Security Roles Introduced In House"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Legislation Aimed At Protecting Airport Security Roles Introduced In House

The House Homeland Security Committee is moving forward with aviation
security legislation, including a measure introduced Tuesday by
Transportation Security Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) aimed at
consolidating and harmonizing the federal security threat assessment process
for transportation workers. The legislation - H.R. 1690, the Modern Security
Credentials Act - includes language aimed at preserving and protecting the
existing, inherently local security roles that airport operators play at
their facilities - an important development given ongoing efforts within DHS
aimed at eventually federalizing key security functions currently handled by
Among other things, the legislation instructs DHS to move forward with a
rulemaking to "consolidate and harmonize the DHS's security threat
assessment process for transportation workers" and to "reduce redundant
background checks performed by the Department." Importantly for airports,
the legislation includes a limitation that provides that the rulemaking
shall not apply "to a process or function carried out by a non-Federal
airport operator." Additionally, the bill prohibits DHS from pursuing
anything in the rule that "shall affect the authority of an airport operator
to restrict an individual's access to secure areas within an airport or
other aviation facility."

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