Tester strengthens critical airport security advisory committee
Senator pushes bill to bring together airlines, security officials, privacy groups
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester wants more people to have a voice in making America’s airports safer.
Tester introduced a bill that makes permanent the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC), a panel that provides recommendations to improve airport security to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). ASAC currently must be re-authorized every two years.
The board includes representatives from airlines, plane manufacturers, pilots, privacy rights groups and labor.
“The best way to make air travel more secure is by listening to folks who work in the aviation industry,” Tester said. “This bill will help ensure that new TSA procedures are supported by those whose job it is to keep us safe while protecting travelers’ privacy.”
“General aviation allows pilots of all backgrounds to experience the joy of flying, and it supports good-paying jobs across Montana,” said John McKenna, president of Recreation Aviation Foundation in Bozeman. “Anyone who sits in a cockpit or works a ground crew has a valuable perspective on air travel security, and Senator Tester’s bill gives us greater input in keeping aviators safe.”
A similar measure passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a wide margin earlier this month.
Tester has long been an advocate of making TSA more effective while protecting the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans. Last year, he blasted the TSA for mistreating a four-year-old Montana girl during a security screening. Tester also previously introduced and passed in the Senate a measure to criminalize any misuse of airport body scan images by TSA employees.