Last night, Congressman Bill Keating reintroduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen airport security. The Airport Perimeter and Access Control Security Act was authored in direct response to recommendations contained within an independent review of commercial airports by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that was released in 2016. Congressman Keating requested this report from GAO following several security incidents at airports nationwide that shed light on existing vulnerabilities.
Originally introduced by Congressman Keating last year, the Airport Perimeter and Access Control Security Act passed the House of Representatives in July 2016. The original cosponsors on the reintroduced bill include Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee; Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Chairman of the Transportation Security Subcommittee in the 114th Congress; Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Transportation Security Subcommittee in the 114th Congress; Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).
This bill requires the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to modernize and enhance airport perimeter security by consistently updating their risk assessments, as well as by developing a comprehensive strategy to keep perimeters safe in the face of evolving threats.
"Airports remain a steady target for terrorists and other violent persons, and the perimeters of our airports continue to be at-risk of exploitation,” said Congressman Keating. “I have been working to increase perimeter security for the past six years, since I handled the Delvonte Tisdale case as District Attorney. We need a set of policies that are uniform, comprehensive, and fluid enough to adapt to each airport’s uniqueness. My bipartisan legislation will close loopholes in airport security practices and ensure that each access control point and perimeter is as secure as possible.”
A copy of the full GAO report requested by Congressman Keating that was released in May 2016 can be found here: http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/677586.pdf