Aviation Security: Immediate Action Needed to Improve Security
(Testimony, 08/01/96, GAO/T-RCED/NSIAD-96-237).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed aviation security,
focusing on the measures needed to reduce potential security threats.
GAO noted that: (1) the threat of terrorism is increasing in the United
States; (2) aviation security responsibilities are shared by the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA), airlines, and airports; (3) FAA and the
aviation community rely on information from various intelligence and law
enforcement agencies, depend on contingency plans to meet a variety of
threats, and use screening equipment to detect bombs and explosives; (4)
basic security measures for domestic flights include the use of
walk-through metal detectors and x-ray screening equipment; (5) FAA is
considering passenger profiling and bag matching to ensure that
passengers checking carry-on baggage actually board a flight; (6) FAA
has mandated additional security measures for international flights; (7)
conventional x-ray screening is limited and offers little protection
against sophisticated explosive devices; (8) new explosive detectors are
being developed and could be available within the next 2 years; (9) the
cost of adopting these new technologies will cost at least $6 billion
over the next 10 years; (10) recent events underscore the need for
improved airline security; and (11) Congress and the aviation and
intelligence communities need to agree on a strategy for combating
terrorism and funding new security measures.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

     TITLE:  Aviation Security: Immediate Action Needed to Improve 
      DATE:  08/01/96
   SUBJECT:  Commercial aviation
             Airline industry
             Intelligence gathering operations
             Transportation safety
             Air transportation operations
             Airline regulation
IDENTIFIER:  Oklahoma City (OK)
             Atlanta (GA)
** This file contains an ASCII representation of the text of a  **
** GAO report.  Delineations within the text indicating chapter **
** titles, headings, and bullets are preserved.  Major          **
** divisions and subdivisions of the text, such as Chapters,    **
** Sections, and Appendixes, are identified by double and       **
** single lines.  The numbers on the right end of these lines   **
** indicate the position of each of the subsections in the      **
** document outline.  These numbers do NOT correspond with the  **
** page numbers of the printed product.                         **
**                                                              **
** No attempt has been made to display graphic images, although **
** figure captions are reproduced.  Tables are included, but    **
** may not resemble those in the printed version.               **
**                                                              **
** Please see the PDF (Portable Document Format) file, when     **
** available, for a complete electronic file of the printed     **
** document's contents.                                         **
**                                                              **
** A printed copy of this report may be obtained from the GAO   **
** Document Distribution Center.  For further details, please   **
** send an e-mail message to:                                   **
**                                                              **
**                    <info@www.gao.gov>                        **
**                                                              **
** with the message 'info' in the body.                         **

================================================================ COVER

Before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. 

For Release
on Delivery
Expected at
2 p.m.  EDT
August 1, 1996


Statement of Keith O.  Fultz,
Assistant Comptroller General,
Resources, Community, and Economic
Development Division




=============================================================== ABBREV

  FAA -
  FBI -
  DOT -
  CIA -
  CT -
  DOD -

============================================================ Chapter 0

Mr.  Chairman and Members of the Committee: 

We appreciate the opportunity to testify before this Committee as it
assesses aviation security and the measures needed to reduce the
vulnerabilities that exist in the current system.  Protecting civil
aviation against a terrorist attack is now an urgent national issue. 
The 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103, which killed 270 people,
and the more recent, but as yet unexplained, explosion of TWA flight
800 have shaken the public's confidence in the safety and security of
air travel.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), using
information provided by federal intelligence agencies, is responsible
for analyzing the threat to aviation security of terrorist attacks
and prescribing and enforcing security measures. 

Mr.  Chairman, our testimony today responds to the Committee's
request for information about the threat to aviation and what can be
done to increase aviation security.  The testimony is based on
several issued GAO reports and work we have undertaken for the House
International Relations Committee and Senator D'Amato.  Today, we
will discuss (1) the threat to aviation from terrorist attacks; (2)
the roles of FAA, the airlines, and airports in providing aviation
security and the vulnerabilities in the existing security system; and
(3) the availability of explosives detection technology and other
methods used to address the threat.  Finally, we want to emphasize
that the Congress, the administration--including FAA and the
intelligence community, among others--and the aviation industry need
to agree on methods of improving and financing security procedures. 
To the extent necessary, the international aviation community should
be involved. 

In summary: 

  -- The threat of terrorism against the United States has increased. 
     Aviation is and will remain an attractive target for terrorists. 

  -- Aviation security is a shared responsibility of FAA and the
     airlines and airports.  FAA has mandated additional security
     procedures as the threat has changed; however, the domestic and
     international aviation system has numerous vulnerabilities.  For
     example, conventional X-ray screening of checked baggage has
     performance limitations and offers little protection against a
     moderately sophisticated explosive device. 

  -- Explosives detection devices are commercially available for
     checked and carry-on baggage and could improve security, but all
     of the devices have shortcomings.  Some of these devices are
     already being used in foreign countries.  Other devices are
     under development and may be available in the next 2 years for
     screening passengers, but technologies for cargo and mail at
     airports are not as far along.  A mix of technology and
     procedures will likely be needed to improve security.  FAA has
     estimated that the cost of adopting some new technology and
     other methods to counteract terrorism, such as identifying for
     additional security checks those passengers who meet specific
     profiles associated with terrorist groups, could cost as much as
     $6 billion over 10 years. 

  -- Recent events underscore the need for improved security to
     protect the traveling public.  To improve security, the
     Congress, the administration--including FAA and the intelligence
     community, among others--and the aviation industry need to agree
     and take action on what needs to be done to meet the threat of
     terrorism and who will pay for new security measures.  On July
     25, the President asked the Vice-President to lead a commission
     to review aviation safety and airport security and to report
     within 45 days on actions to be taken.  The international
     aviation community also may need to be involved to improve
     security procedures. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:1

The threat of terrorism against the United States has increased,
according to the intelligence community.  The experts believe that
aviation is likely to remain an attractive target for terrorists well
into the foreseeable future.  Until the early 1990s, the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the State Department, FAA, the
Department of Transportation (DOT), and airline officials had
maintained that the threat of terrorism was far greater overseas than
in the United States.  However, the World Trade Center bombing and
the recent convictions of individuals charged with plotting to bomb
several landmarks in the New York area revealed that the
international terrorist threat in the United States is more serious
and more extensive then previously believed. 

By 1994, reports by several agencies indicated a change in the
pattern of terrorism.  In 1994, the State Department reported a
decline in attacks worldwide by state-sponsored, secular terrorist
groups but an increase in attacks by radical fundamentalist groups,
who operate more autonomously.  The FBI reported in the same year
that the most important development in international terrorism inside
the United States was the emergence of international radical
terrorist groups with an infrastructure that can support terrorists'
activities.  These groups are more difficult to infiltrate, and
consequently, it is also more difficult to predict and prevent their

As we reported in January 1994, terrorists' activities are
continually evolving and present unique challenges to FAA and law
enforcement agencies.\1 We further reported in March 1996 that the
bombing of Philippines Airlines Flight 434 in December 1994, which
resulted in the death of one passenger and injuries to several
others, illustrated the potential extent of terrorists' motivation
and capabilities as well as the attractiveness of aviation as a
target for terrorists.\2 According to information that was
accidentally uncovered in early January 1995, this bombing was a
rehearsal for multiple attacks on specific U.S.  flights in Asia. 
Officials told us that they rarely have the advantage of a detailed,
verifiable plot to target U.S.  airlines.  They also said that the
terrorists were aware both of airports' vulnerabilities and how
existing security measures could be defeated. 

\1 Aviation Security:  Additional Actions Needed to Meet Domestic and
International Challenges (GAO/RCED-94-38, Jan.  27, 1994). 

\2 Terrorism and Drug Trafficking:  Threats and Roles of Explosives
and Narcotics Detection Technology (GAO/NSIAD/RCED-96-76BR, Mar.  27,

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:2

Even though FAA has changed security procedures as the threat has
changed, the domestic and international aviation system continues to
have numerous vulnerabilities.  Aviation security is a shared
responsibility.  The intelligence community--the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency, the FBI, among
others--gathers information to prevent actions by terrorists and
provides intelligence information to FAA.  On the basis of this
information, FAA makes judgments about the threat and establishes
procedures to address it.  The airlines and airports are responsible
for implementing the procedures.  For example, the airlines are
responsible for screening passengers and property, and the airports
are responsible for the security of the airport environment,
including security personnel.  FAA and the aviation community rely on
a multifaceted approach that includes information from various
intelligence and law enforcement agencies; contingency plans to meet
a variety of threat levels; and the use of screening equipment, such
as conventional X-ray devices and metal detectors.  However, many of
these measures, such as walk-through metal detectors, were primarily
designed to avert hijackings during the 1970s and 1980s, as opposed
to the more current threat of sophisticated attacks by terrorists
that involve explosive devices. 

For flights within the United States, basic security measures include
the use of walk-through metal detectors for passengers and X-ray
screening of carry-on baggage; these measures are augmented by
additional procedures that are based on an assessment of risk.  These
additional procedures are contained in the contingency plans
developed by FAA in coordination with the aviation industry.  FAA's
plans describe a wide range of procedures that can be invoked,
depending on the nature and degree of the threat.  Among these
procedures are (1) passenger profiling, a method of identifying
potentially threatening passengers who are then subjected to
additional security measures, and (2) passenger-bag matching, a
procedure to ensure that a passenger who checks a bag also boards the
flight; if the passenger does not board, the bag is removed.  FAA
mandated higher levels of temporary security measures several times
in 1995 because of the increased threat of terrorism, and the current
measures in place are at the highest level invoked since the Gulf

Because the threat of terrorism had been considered greater overseas,
FAA has mandated more stringent security measures for international
flights.  Currently, for all international flights, FAA requires U.S. 
carriers to implement the International Civil Aviation Organization
standards at a minimum, including the inspection of carry-on bags and
passenger-bag matching.\3 FAA also requires additional, more
stringent measures--including interviewing passengers that meet
certain criteria, screening every checked bag, and screening
supplementary carry-on baggage--at all airports in Europe and the
Middle East and many airports elsewhere. 

In the aftermath of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103, a Presidential
Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism was established to
examine the nation's aviation security system.  This Commission
reported that the system was seriously flawed and failed to provide
adequate protection for the traveling public.  In spite of the
Commission's finding and the Congress's enactment of the Aviation
Security Improvement Act of 1990, our work illustrates that many
vulnerabilities are persistent.\4

\3 The International Civil Aviation Organization is a United Nations
organization that develops standards and recommended practices for
aviation safety and security. 

\4 Aviation Security:  Development of New Security Technology Has Not
Met Expectations (GAO/RCED-94-142, May 19, 1994); Terrorism and Drug
Trafficking:  Threats and Roles of Explosives and Narcotics Detection
Technology (GAO/NSIAD/RCED-96-76BR, Mar.  27, 1996). 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:2.1

Providing effective security is a complex problem because of the size
of the U.S.  aviation system, differences among airlines and
airports, and the unpredictable nature of terrorism.  In our January
and May 1994 reports on aviation security, we highlighted a number of
vulnerabilities in the overall security framework, such as the
screening of checked baggage, mail, and cargo.  We also raised
concerns about unauthorized individuals gaining access to critical
parts of an airport and the potential use of sophisticated weapons,
such as surface-to-air missiles, that could be deployed against
commercial aircraft.  More recent security concerns include smuggling
bombs aboard aircraft in carry-on bags or on passengers themselves. 

Specific information on the vulnerabilities of the nation's aviation
security system is classified and cannot be detailed here, but we can
provide some information.  We have a classified report in process
that discusses the system's vulnerabilities in greater detail.  FAA
believes the greatest threat to aviation is explosives in checked
baggage.  For those bags that are screened, we reported in March 1996
that conventional X-ray screening systems (comprising the machine and
operator who reads the X-ray screen) have performance limitations and
offer little protection against a moderately sophisticated explosive
device.  There are also vulnerabilities in screening passengers
because the walk-through devices that currently screen for metal
objects are unable to detect explosives carried by passengers. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3

Aviation security rests on a careful mix of intelligence information,
procedures, technology, and security personnel.  New explosives
detection technology will play an important part in improving
security, but it is not the panacea.  In response to the Aviation
Security Improvement Act of 1990, FAA accelerated its efforts to
develop explosives detection technology, and devices are now
commercially available to address some vulnerabilities.  Since
October 1, 1990, FAA has invested about $150 million in developing
technologies specifically designed to detect concealed explosives. 
FAA relies primarily on contracts and grants with private companies
and research institutions to develop these technologies.  The act
specifically directed FAA to develop and deploy explosives detection
systems by November 1993.  However, this goal has not been met. 

In September 1993, FAA published a general certification standard
that explosives detection systems must meet before they are deployed. 
The standard sets certain minimum performance criteria, such as what
kinds of explosives must be detected and how many bags per hour the
device processes.\5 However, the specifics of the standard are
classified.  To minimize human error, the standard also requires that
the devices automatically sound an alarm when explosives are
suspected; this feature is in contrast to currently used conventional
X-ray devices, where the operator has to look at the X-ray screen for
each bag.  In 1994, we reported that FAA had made little progress in
meeting the law's requirement because of technical problems, such as
slow baggage processing.  Since then, one system has passed FAA's
certification standard and is being operationally tested at two U.S. 
airports in Atlanta and San Francisco. 

Explosives detection devices can substantially improve airlines'
ability to detect concealed explosives before they are brought aboard
aircraft.  While most of these technologies are still in development,
a number of devices are now commercially available.  For example,
some devices are in use in foreign countries, such as the United
Kingdom, Belgium, and Israel.  None of the commercially available
devices, however, is without shortcomings.  On the basis of our
analysis, we have three overall observations about detection

  -- First, these devices vary in their ability to detect the types,
     quantities, and shapes of explosives.  For example, one device
     excels in its ability to detect certain explosive substances but
     not others.  Other devices can detect explosives but not in
     certain shapes. 

  -- Second, explosives detection devices typically produce a number
     of false alarms that must be resolved either by human
     intervention or other technical means.  These false alarms occur
     because devices use various technologies to identify
     characteristics, such as shapes, densities, and properties, that
     could potentially indicate an explosive.  Given the huge numbers
     of passengers, bags, and cargo processed by the average major
     U.S.  airport, even relatively modest false alarm rates
     translate into several hundreds, even thousands, of items per
     day needing additional scrutiny. 

  -- Third, and most important, these devices ultimately depend upon
     human beings to resolve alarms.  This activity can range from
     closer inspection of a computer image and a judgment call to a
     hand search of the item in question.  The ultimate detection of
     explosives depends on security personnel taking extra steps--or
     arriving at the correct judgment--to determine whether or not an
     explosive is present.  Because many of the devices' alarms
     signify only the potential for explosives being present, the
     true detection of explosives requires human intervention.  The
     higher the false alarm rate, the more a system needs to rely on
     human judgment.  As we noted in our January and May 1994
     reports, this reliance could be a weak link in the explosives
     detection process.  This fact has implications for the selection
     and training of operators for new equipment. 

\5 The certification standard sets minimum performance criteria for
(1) the explosive substances to be detected, (2) the probability of
detection, by explosive, (3) the quantity of explosive, and (4) the
number of bags processed per hour.  In addition, the standard
specifies the maximum allowable false alarm rate, by explosive. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3.1

A number of explosives detection devices are currently available or
under development to determine whether explosives are present in
checked and carry-on baggage or on passengers, but they are costly. 
FAA is still developing systems to screen cargo and mail at airports. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3.2

Four explosives detection devices with automatic alarms are
commercially available for checked bags, but only one has met FAA's
certification standard (the CTX 5000).  FAA's preliminary estimates
are that the one-time acquisition and installation costs of the
certified system for the 75 busiest airports in the United States
could range from $400 million to $2.2 billion, depending on the
number of machines installed. 

  -- A computerized tomography (CT) device, which is based on
     advances made in the medical field, offers the best overall
     detection ability but is relatively slow in processing bags and
     has the highest price, costing approximately $1 million each. 
     This device was certified by FAA in December 1994. 

  -- Two advanced X-ray devices have lower detection capability but
     are faster and cheaper, costing approximately $350,000 to
     $400,000 each. 

  -- The last device, which uses electromagnetic radiation, offers
     chemical-specific detection ability but only for some of the
     explosives specified in FAA's standard.  The current price is
     about $340,000 each. 

All of these devices require additional steps by security personnel
when there are indications that an explosive is present.  FAA is
funding the development of next-generation CT devices from two
different manufacturers.  These devices are being designed to meet
FAA's standard for detecting explosives and processing speeds; they
could sell for about $500,000 each.  Advanced X-ray devices with
improved capabilities are also in development. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3.3

Explosives detection devices are commercially available for carry-on
bags, electronics, and other items but not yet for screening bottles
or containers that could hold liquid explosives.  Devices for
liquids, however, may be commercially available within 2 years. 

Carry-on bags and electronics.  At least five manufacturers sell
devices that can detect the residue or vapor from explosives on the
exterior of carry-on bags and on electronic items, such as computers
or radios.  These devices, also known as "sniffers," are commonly
referred to as "trace" detectors and range in price from about
$45,000 to $170,000 each.  They have very specific detection
capability as well as low false alarm rates.  The main drawbacks are
(1) the possibility of insufficient residue on the exterior of the
item concealing the bomb and (2) nuisance alarms, where the device
accurately detects explosive material--for example, a heart patient's
nitroglycerin medication--but the source is not a bomb. 

An electromagnetic device is also available that offers a high
probability of chemical-specific detection, but only for some
explosives.  The price is about $65,000. 

Detecting liquid explosives.  FAA is developing two different
electromagnetic systems for screening bottles and other containers,
likely to sell for $25,000 and $125,000 per device.  A development
issue is processing speed.  These devices may be available within 2

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3.4

Although a number of commercially available trace devices could be
used on passengers if deemed necessary, passengers might find their
physical intrusiveness unacceptable.  In June 1996, the National
Research Council, for example, reported that there may be a number of
health, legal, operational, privacy, and convenience concerns about
passenger screening devices.  Accordingly, FAA and the Department of
Defense (DOD) are developing devices that passengers may find more
acceptable.  FAA estimates that it would cost $1.9 billion to provide
about 3,000 of these devices to screen passengers. 

  -- A number of trace devices in development will detect residue or
     vapor from explosives on passengers' hands.  Two devices screen
     either documents or tokens that have been handled by passengers. 
     These devices should be available in 1997 or 1998 and sell for
     approximately $65,000 to $85,000 each. 

  -- Five devices under development use a walk-through screening
     checkpoint similar to the current metal detectors.  Three will
     use trace technology to detect particles and vapor from
     explosives on passengers' clothing or in the air surrounding
     their bodies.  Ranging in expected selling prices from
     approximately $170,000 to $300,000, one of these devices will be
     tested at an airport as early as this month, and another device
     may undergo airport testing next year.  Two other devices, based
     on electromagnetic technology, are in development.  Rather than
     detecting particles or vapor, these devices will provide images
     of items concealed under passengers' clothing.  Prices are
     expected to be approximately $100,000 to $200,000. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3.5

Cargo and mail continue to represent vulnerabilities in the system. 
Screening cargo and mail at airports is difficult because individual
packages or pieces of mail are usually batched into larger shipments
that are more difficult to screen.  Although not yet commercially
available, two different systems for detecting explosives in large
containers are being developed by FAA and DOD.  Each system draws
vapor and particle samples and uses trace technology to analyze them. 
One system is scheduled for testing in 1997. 

In addition, FAA is considering for further development three
nuclear-based technologies, originally planned for checked-bag
screening, for use on cargo and mail.  These technologies use large,
heavy apparatus to generate gamma rays or neutrons to penetrate
larger items.  However, they require shielding for safety reasons. 
These technologies are not as far along in the development process as
many other devices.  They are still in the laboratory development
stage rather than the prototype development stage.  If fully
developed, these devices could cost as much as $2 million to $5
million each. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3.6

To reduce the effects of an in-flight explosion, FAA is conducting
research on, among other things, blast-resistant containers.  FAA's
tests have demonstrated that it is feasible to contain the
effects--blast and fragments--of an internal explosion.  However,
because of their size, blast-resistant containers can be used only on
wide-body aircraft that typically fly international routes.  FAA is
working with a joint industry-government consortium to address
concerns about the cost, weight, and durability of the new containers
and is planning to blast test several prototype containers later this
year.  Also this year, FAA will place about 20 of these containers
into airline operations to see how well they function in actual use. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3.7

In addition to technology-based security, FAA has several procedures
that it uses, and can expand upon, to augment domestic aviation
security or use in combination with technology to reduce the workload
required by detection devices, such as random hand searches.  On July
25, the President announced additional measures for international and
domestic flights that include, among other things, stricter controls
over checked baggage and cargo as well as additional inspections of
aircraft.  Two procedures that are routinely used on many
international flights and could be implemented in the short term for
domestic flights are passenger profiling and passenger-bag matching. 
FAA officials have said that profiling can reduce the number of
passengers and bags that require additional security measures by as
much as 80 percent. 

Profiling and bag matching are unable to address certain types of
threats.  However, in the absence of sufficient or effective
technology, these procedures are a valuable part of the overall
security framework.  These methods may also be expensive.  FAA has
estimated that incorporating bag matching in everyday security
measures could cost up to $2 billion in startup costs and lost
revenue.  The direct costs to airlines include, among other things,
equipment, staffing, and training.  The airlines' revenues and
operations could be affected differently because the airlines
currently have different capabilities to implement bag matching,
different route structures, and different periods of time allowed for
connecting flights. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4

Aviation security has become an issue of national importance, but no
agreement currently exists among the Congress, the
administration--including FAA and the intelligence community, among
others--and the aviation industry on the steps necessary to meet the
threat and improve security in the short and long terms or who will
pay for new security initiatives.  While FAA has increased security
at domestic airports on a temporary basis, FAA and DOT officials
believe that more permanent changes are needed.  The cost of these
new security initiatives will be significant and may require changes
in how airlines and airports operate and will likely have an impact
on the traveling public.  The law makes airlines responsible for
screening passengers and property. 

In November 1995, senior FAA officials stated that they planned to
recommend a high-level national policy review of civil aviation to
develop a consensus in government and industry on the nature and
extent of the threat, appropriate types of responses, and who would
pay for those responses.  FAA officials told us that standard
cost-benefit analyses would likely reject many initiatives and that a
consensus was needed among the Congress, industry, and the executive
branch before any regulatory action is taken.  There has been
considerable debate about how to fund the deployment and operational
costs for new security initiatives.  Several options have been
discussed:  (1) government funding, if viewed as a national security
issue, (2) industry financing as a cost of doing business, and (3) a
fee assessed on air travelers. 

In January 1996, FAA briefed the National Security Council (NSC) on
the threat to civil aviation and the need for a high-level national
policy review on ways of increasing aviation security.  FAA
recommended the establishment of a presidential commission as a means
of obtaining the essential elements of consensus and a legislative
mandate.  At that briefing, FAA provided preliminary estimates on the
cost of various options, including the deployment of new explosives
detection technology for passengers and baggage and other new
security procedures.  Depending on the option selected, FAA estimated
that costs would range from $1 billion to more than $6 billion over a
10-year period.  While no agreement was reached on how to finance
these improvements, FAA estimated that it would cost the traveling
public between $0.20 and $1.30 per one-way ticket.  As a result of
this meeting and two others, FAA and NSC agreed to submit a proposal
to FAA's Aviation Security Advisory Committee to establish a working
group to review the threat against aviation and recommend options for
improving security. 

In addition to FAA's effort, on July 15, 1996, the President
established a Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, whose
mission includes assessing the threat and vulnerabilities and making
recommendations on how to protect telecommunications, electrical
power, banking and finance, water supply, gas and oil storage,
emergency services, and transportation.  Senior DOT officials told us
that they intend to provide several staff to this effort but that it
is uncertain how much attention will be placed on transportation and,
specifically, aviation security.  However, recent events will likely
influence the focus of this effort and place greater emphasis on
aviation security. 

On July 17, 1996, the same day that TWA Flight 800 exploded, FAA
proposed a joint government-industry working group to its security
advisory committee.  The committee agreed to establish a working
group that will include representatives from FAA, the aviation
community, the NSC, the CIA, the FBI, the Departments of Defense and
State, and the Office of Management and Budget.  This group will (1)
review the threat to aviation, (2) examine vulnerabilities, (3)
develop options for improving security, (4) identify and analyze
funding options, and (5) identify the legislative, executive, and
regulatory actions needed.  The working group established a goal of
submitting a final report to the FAA Administrator by October 16,
1996.  Any national policy issues would then be referred to the
President by the FAA Administrator through the Secretary of

Recognizing the importance of aviation security as a national policy
issue, the President established a commission on July 25, 1996,
headed by the Vice-President, to review aviation safety and airport
security.  This commission is to report back to the President within
45 days. 

The international aviation community may need to be involved in
developing new procedures to improve security.  The administration is
working with the Group of Seven industrial nations on additional ways
to cooperate on countering terrorism. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4.1

In summary, Mr.  Chairman, we face an urgent national problem that
needs to be addressed at the highest levels of government now.  The
threat of terrorism has been an international issue for some time,
with events such as the bombing in Saudi Arabia of U.S.  barracks. 
But other incidents such as the bombings of the World Trade Center in
New York, the federal building in Oklahoma City, possibly at the
Olympics in Atlanta, and perhaps of TWA 800--if in fact this is
determined to be an act of terrorism--have made terrorism a domestic
as well as an international issue.  Public concern about aviation
safety, in particular, has already been heightened as a result of the
ValuJet crash, and the recent TWA 800 crash has increased that
concern.  If further incidents occur, public fear and anxiety will
escalate and the economic well-being of the nation will suffer
because of reductions in travel and the shipment of goods. 

Three separate initiatives are under way that may address the
concerns about aviation security.  In our view, a unified and
concentrated effort is needed to address this national issue.  The
commission that the Vice-President heads could be the focal point to
build a consensus on the actions that need to be taken to address a
number of long-standing vulnerabilities.  As we noted, procedures and
technology can be used to improve aviation security but will require
substantial resources. 

We believe several steps need to be taken immediately:  (1) conduct a
comprehensive review of the safety and security of all major domestic
and international airports and airlines to identify the strengths and
weaknesses of their procedures to protect the traveling public, (2)
identify vulnerabilities in the system, (3) establish priorities to
address the system's identified vulnerabilities, (4) develop a
short-term approach with immediate actions to correct significant
security weaknesses, and (5) develop a long-term and comprehensive
national strategy that combines new technology, procedures, and
better training for security personnel.  Because terrorism is an
international problem, close cooperation with foreign governments is
also required.  In addition, the time has come to inform and involve
the American public in this effort.  If there was ever a time that
public will accept new security measures, it is now.  This concludes
my prepared statement.  I would be glad to respond to any questions. 

*** End of document. ***