Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday released the 2010 progress report that highlighted some of the department’s advancements in capabilities for U.S. aviation security in accordance with the 9/11 Commission.
“The 9/11 Commission’s recommendations have in many ways set the course for the department’s efforts to combat security threats,” Napolitano said. “By working with our partners across the globe, we have achieved historic advances in international aviation security – including bolstering explosives detection, strengthening the vetting of passengers against terrorist watchlists, refining passenger screening techniques and deploying tens of thousands of trained aviation security personnel—that make air travel safer for everyone.”
Among other things, the report showed that aviation security received a large boost with the implementation of Secure Flight for 100 percent of passengers flying domestically and internationally on U.S. airlines. Also, DHS is also on track to meet the 100 percent screening requirement for all air cargo on domestic passenger aircraft by August 2010.
Napolitano announced the report also highlighted the program’s effort to deter terrorism through new airport screening measures. According to a statement, DHS analysis of passenger data played a critical role in the recent counterterrorism cases against Najibullah Zazi, who pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb New York subways, David Headley, who pleaded guilty for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, and Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad.
The report also showed strengthened security efforts through using 50,000 transportation security officers, transportation security inspectors, behavior detection officers, and canine teams in airports across the country.
Along with these efforts, Napolitano has been leading a global initiative to enhance the international aviation system against the evolving threats posed by terrorists since the attempted terrorist attack in December 2009.
According to the statement, Napolitano has participated in regional aviation security summits around the world, forging an historic consensus and signing agreements with her international colleagues in Africa, the Asia/Pacific region, the Western Hemisphere, Europe and the Middle East to strengthen the civil aviation system through enhanced information analysis and sharing, cooperation on technological development and modernized aviation security standards.