Aviation Security: DHS Has Taken Steps to Enhance International Aviation Security and Facilitate Compliance with International Standards, but Challenges Remain

GAO-11-238T Published: Dec 02, 2010. Publicly Released: Dec 02, 2010.
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The attempted December 25, 2009, terrorist attack and the October 2010 bomb attempt involving air cargo originating in Yemen highlight the ongoing threat to aviation and the need to coordinate security standards and practices to enhance security with foreign partners, a process known as harmonization. This testimony discusses the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) progress and challenges in harmonizing international aviation security standards and practices and facilitating compliance with international standards. This testimony is based on reports GAO issued from April 2007 through June 2010, and ongoing work examining foreign airport assessments. For this work, GAO obtained information from DHS and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and interviewed TSA program officials, foreign aviation officials, representatives from international organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and industry associations, about ongoing harmonization and TSA airport assessment efforts and challenges.

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