Following Brussels Attack, Tester Pushes to Keep Americans Safe

Senator fights for increased security at airports

(U.S. Senate)-Following the terrorist attack in Brussels, Belgium that left 35 people dead and more than 300 injured, Senator Jon Tester today continued his push to ensure rural communities have the same security tools as America’s largest cities.

During a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, Tester again brought up the need for modernized passenger screening equipment at airports in Helena and Great Falls. Both airports recently made infrastructure improvements to create space for new screening equipment, but the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has not delivered it.

“The folks who want to do us harm are always looking for the weakest link,” Tester said. “Keeping Americans safe is my top priority, but some of Montana’s busiest airports still do not have the most up-to-date security equipment-and that must be resolved.”

Last month, Tester questioned the TSA’s Administrator on the potential increased threats that rural airports without full body scanners face. TSA responded that current budget restraints require urban airports to receive full body scanners before rural airports.

In December, Tester passed legislation that strengthens the Visa Waiver Program by requiring all travelers from participating countries to first undergo rigorous screening if they have traveled to Iraq or Syria within the past five years.

Tester recently met with the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport director to make sure Montana’s airport security needs are met as Congress works to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA authorization will expire in July.