Aviation Security:

Improved Controls Needed To Prevent Unauthorized Access at Key Airports

RCED-88-86: Published: Jan 29, 1988. Publicly Released: Jan 29, 1988.

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GAO reviewed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) domestic civil aviation security program.

GAO found that, at the nation's highest-risk airports, aviation services firms: (1) could not properly account for their terminated employees' identification badges; (2) failed to challenge unidentified personnel who gained access to restricted airport areas; and (3) allowed employees with identification to bypass screening. GAO also found that FAA: (1) required airport and airline employees to undergo full security screening, effective December 21, 1987; and (2) plans to require all U.S. airports to acquire automated identification systems.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Corrective actions included an amendment to the Air Carrier Standard Security Program and rulemaking process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct FAA to require air carrier and airport officials to inventory identification badges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Action was taken as indicated by development of procedures distributed to airport operators and carriers for comment and initiation of the rulemaking process. Completed with rulemaking process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct FAA to ensure that appropriate controls over identification systems are implemented where needed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Action was taken as indicated by development of procedures distributed to airport operators and carriers for comment and initiation of the rulemaking process. Completed with rulemaking process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct FAA to reemphasize the responsibility of aviation employees to challenge unauthorized persons and to properly display employee identification badges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

 

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