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Highlights

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), established in November 2001, has developed and implemented a variety of programs to secure the commercial aviation system. To implement these efforts, TSA funding related to aviation security has totaled about $20 billion since fiscal year 2004. Other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components, such as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), also play roles in securing commercial aviation. In this testimony, we address the efforts TSA has taken or planned to strengthen aviation security, and the challenges that remain, in three key areas: airline passenger prescreening, airline passenger and checked baggage screening, and air cargo screening. GAO's comments are based on issued GAO reports and testimonies and our preliminary observations from ongoing work on TSA's passenger checkpoint screening procedures and technologies, and staffing standards for Transportation Security Officers (TSO).

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