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GAO discussed the preboarding passenger screening process the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established under its Civil Aviation Security Program to prevent passengers from carrying firearms, explosives, and other dangerous weapons on board airplanes. GAO noted that: (1) FAA developed an enforcement policy which allows it to assess civil penalties when air carrier screening systems fail to detect its test weapons; (2) a 10-month nationwide test of airport screening systems yielded an 80-percent detection rate; and (3) FAA needs to further evaluate the effectiveness of its enforcement policy, focusing on cumulative detection rates, the adequacy of its civil penalties, and its progress in implementing Department of Transportation recommendations for passenger screening.

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