U.S. Travel Commends Reestablished Aviation Security Advisory Committee


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U.S. Travel Commends Reestablished Aviation Security Advisory Committee

By Shane Nolan

July 9, 2011 - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have announced the reestablishment of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC), a committee to provide advice and recommendations for improving aviation security measures to the administrator of TSA. The reestablishment of the ASAC was a key recommendation of U.S. Travel’s recent report on aviation security. 

ASAC was established in 1989 following the destruction of Pan American World Airways Flight 103 by a terrorist bomb. The committee helped TSA establish critical policies and procedures in consultation with leading industry organizations, other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and stakeholder representatives concerning potential risks to aviation infrastructure, passengers and cargo; response capabilities that NGOs and other stakeholders control; and the economic, social, and political drivers that impact risk or response.  

ASAC is also a recurring forum for TSA to gather customer and stakeholder input concerning the effectiveness of security actions and proposals, the costs and burdens associated with security actions and proposals, and the general level of customer satisfaction TSA is engendering across affected constituencies.  

This committee has experience working together to identify problems, gather input and reach consensus on security issues that result in security initiatives and regulations that can be quickly implemented, are effective in terms of performance and cost, and have a lower impact on the commerce of aviation.Show citation box. 

“Travelers and the private sector once again have a formal voice within the TSA, thanks to the reestablishment of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “We commend Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Pistole for their leadership in reestablishing this important committee, and we look forward to recommending travel industry leaders for membership.” 


For almost two decades, the FAA and then TSA operated an ASAC that engaged a wide array of interested stakeholders in a dialogue on aviation security issues and policies. The ASAC members took the time to consider and learn difficult and technological issues and made meaningful recommendations to the FAA and then to TSA. Unfortunately, TSA has not convened even a single meeting of this federal advisory council since 2006, cutting off a valuable tool for TSA to engage a broader range of stakeholders than just airlines and airports. 


According to the Department of Homeland Security, the reestablished ASAC will be composed of individual members representing private-sector organizations of key constituencies affected by aviation security requirements, including: victims of terrorist acts against aviation; law enforcement and security experts; aviation consumer advocates; airport tenants and general aviation; airport operators; airline management; airline labor; aircraft and security equipment manufacturers; and air cargo representatives.

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