February 16, 2017

In Senate Commerce Subcommittee Hearing, Senator Hassan Underscores Importance of Increasing Resources for TSA to Strengthen Airport Security

In Senate Commerce Subcommittee Hearing, Senator Hassan Underscores Importance of Increasing Resources for TSA to Strengthen Airport Security


Click here for video of Senator Hassan's questioning.

WASHINGTON - Today, Senator Maggie Hassan participated in a hearing of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security on "Improving TSA for the Security of the Traveling Public," where she highlighted the importance of increasing resources for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in order to keep travelers safe and support airports like Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

In the hearing, Senator Hassan asked Stephen Alterman, Chairman of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, and Kim Day, Chief Executive Officer at Denver International Airport, to address ways to stop terrorist attacks in public areas of airports at home and abroad. Highlighting that securing these areas requires cooperation between TSA, local police, and airport officials to help keep travelers safe, Senator Hassan asked Mr. Alterman if his Advisory Committee has "looked at ways to improve security in the public areas." Mr. Alterman agreed that the issue requires increased attention, saying, "we've got to find a way to have coordination among those officials so that hopefully we can prevent incidents but if an incident happens we need to understand who is in charge and how things are going to work...it's a real challenge."

Senator Hassan also drew attention to the challenge Manchester-Boston Regional Airport faces in having difficulty keeping the TSA PreCheck lane open at times due to a lack of resources and personnel shortages, creating a potential "disincentive for travelers to sign up for this security program." Senator Hassan asked Ms. Day if this is a challenge beyond Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and requested suggestions for how "TSA should address the issue." Ms. Day responded, "Yes, it's a problem at our airport too that PreCheck line at each security check point is not open the entire time, and it is based on resources...we sit down with TSA every day and go through the loads and what we see the passenger traffic to be like and we try and best use their resources, but the reality is their resources are limited so the reality is that those checkpoints are closed sometimes."

In addition to sitting on the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security, Senator Hassan also sits on the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet; the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security; the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness; and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security. Senator Hassan is also a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

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