Aviation Security:

Training Standards Needed for Extra Security Measures at Foreign Airports

RCED-90-66: Published: Dec 15, 1989. Publicly Released: Dec 15, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed changes made to the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Air Carrier Standard Security Program following a terrorist airline bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988.

GAO found that: (1) despite additional security measures imposed following the bombing, FAA could not ensure that airlines at designated high-risk foreign airports were properly following required procedures; (2) FAA found deficiencies in the way airline security personnel were carrying out extra security measures; (3) FAA has not established minimum training requirements and standards for extra security measures required at high-risk foreign airports; and (4) FAA did not routinely evaluate formal airline security training at foreign airports, but began examining the training and testing of host government security personnel who screen passengers and baggage at high-risk airports.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAA developed, and incorporated in the Air Carrier Standard Security Program, a set of training requirements and standards for extra security U.S. carriers must provide at high-risk foreign airports.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to develop and include in the security program a comprehensive set of training requirements and standards tailored to the extra screening U.S. carriers are required to conduct at high-risk foreign airports.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAA amended inspection guidelines to require evaluations of formal U.S. air carrier training at high-risk foreign airports. FAA also incorporated new guidance into inspection training courses.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to require that FAA airline security inspections include procedures for evaluations of formal U.S. airline training of security personnel at high-risk airports.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

 

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