Aviation Security:

Transportation Security Administration Faces Immediate and Long-Term Challenges

GAO-02-971T: Published: Jul 25, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 2002.

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Gerald Dillingham, Ph.D.
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Office of Public Affairs
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Since September 11, the safety and security of the nation's civil aviation system have taken on greater urgency. GAO found that the newly created Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has assumed responsibility for aviation security and has focused on meeting congressionally mandated deadlines for strengthening aviation security. So far, TSA has developed plans and implemented procedures for using federal employees to conduct security screening at more than 400 commercial airports; hired and begun to train nearly 4,000 key security personnel; and undertaken more rigorous background checks of workers with access to secure areas at airports. TSA faces immediate challenges in assuming responsibility for security in other modes of transportation, improving the performance of screeners, and addressing aviation security issues not covered by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act's current-year deadlines. TSA also faces long-term organizational challenges, including strategically managing its workforce, controlling costs, and sharing threat information.

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