S 1092

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 1092

To address aviation security in the United States by bolstering passenger and air cargo screening procedures, to ensure that purchases of screening technologies are thoroughly evaluated for the best return on investment of the taxpayer's money, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 26, 2011

Mr. CARPER (for himself and Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


A BILL

To address aviation security in the United States by bolstering passenger and air cargo screening procedures, to ensure that purchases of screening technologies are thoroughly evaluated for the best return on investment of the taxpayer's money, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Aviation Security Innovation & Reform Act of 2011' or the `AIR Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. OFFICE OF BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS.

    Section 114 of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in subsection (a), by striking `Department of Transportation' and inserting `Department of Homeland Security';

      (2) by striking `Under Secretary of Transportation for Security' each place it appears and inserting `Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration)';

      (3) by striking `Under Secretary' each place it appears and inserting `Assistant Secretary'; and

      (4) by inserting after subsection (s) the following:

    `(t) Office of Behavior Analysis-

      `(1) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established in the Transportation Security Administration the Office of Behavior Analysis (in this subsection referred to as the `Office').

      `(2) LOCATION- The Office of Behavior Analysis shall be within the Office of Security Operations of the Transportation Security Administration in the Department of Homeland Security and shall be headed by a Transportation Security Administration career employee, who shall be appointed by the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration).

      `(3) DUTIES- To the extent and in the manner determined to be appropriate by the Assistant Secretary, the head of the Office shall be responsible for--

        `(A) advising the Transportation Security Administration and other Federal, State, and local government law enforcement agencies on behavior detection methodologies and best practices; and

        `(B) providing behavior detection training to law enforcement personnel to facilitate the prevention of terrorist attacks on aviation and mass transportation systems.'.

SEC. 3. CONTINUING SECURITY TRAINING.

    Section 44935 of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking `Under Secretary of Transportation for Security' each place it appears and inserting `Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration)';

      (2) by striking `Under Secretary' each place it appears and inserting `Assistant Secretary';

      (3) by amending subsection (g) to read as follows:

    `(g) Training-

      `(1) TRAINING PLAN- The Assistant Secretary shall maintain a plan for the training of Transportation Security Officers that--

        `(A) to the maximum extent practicable, ensures that the training received by Transportation Security Officers is standardized; and

        `(B) meets the requirements of this subsection.

      `(2) GENERAL TRAINING REQUIREMENTS- The plan required by paragraph (1) shall require, at a minimum, that an individual employed as a Transportation Security Officer--

        `(A) receives, before the individual performs any screening functions as a Transportation Security Officer, training in basic security screening skills and in criminal and antiterrorism awareness;

        `(B) completes a program that the Assistant Secretary determines will train individuals to a level of proficiency to adequately perform on the job;

        `(C) successfully completes an up-to-date technical training examination prescribed by the Assistant Secretary; and

        `(D) in the case of a Transportation Security Officer who will be responsible for verifying travel documents, completes up-to-date technical training in document fraud identification, as considered appropriate by the Assistant Secretary.

      `(3) EQUIPMENT-SPECIFIC TRAINING- An individual employed as a Transportation Security Officer may not use any security screening device or equipment in the scope of that individual's employment unless the individual has been trained on that device or equipment and has successfully completed a test on the use of the device or equipment.

      `(4) CONTINUING EDUCATION- The plan required by paragraph (1) shall require an individual employed as a Transportation Security Officer to receive annual training, as considered appropriate by the Assistant Secretary.

      `(5) USE OF OTHER AGENCIES- The Assistant Secretary may enter into a memorandum of understanding or other arrangement with any other Federal agency or department with appropriate law enforcement responsibilities, to provide personnel, resources, or other forms of assistance in the training of Transportation Security Officers.';

      (4) by moving subsection (h) 2 ems to the left; and

      (5) by redesignating the second subsection (i) (relating to accessibility of computer-based training facilities) as subsection (k).

SEC. 4. PARTNERSHIPS WITH STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENTS, AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

    (a) In General- The Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration) (in this Act referred to as the `Assistant Secretary') shall develop and maintain partnerships with State and local law enforcement agencies to improve the coordination of behavior detection activities.

    (b) Collaboration in Training and Behavior Detection Activities- In implementing partnerships under subsection (a), the Assistant Secretary shall--

      (1) coordinate the provision of behavior detection training for State and local law enforcement officers with similar training provided for Transportation Security Officers of the Transportation Security Administration; and

      (2) provide behavior detection officers with the opportunity to cross-train with State and local law enforcement agencies and other Federal law enforcement agencies that are responsible for protecting critical infrastructure facilities and mass transit systems, as the Assistant Secretary considers appropriate.

    (c) Study on Real-Time Information Sharing-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Homeland Security shall conduct a study on the feasibility of creating an Aviation Sharing Analysis Center (in this Act referred to as `ASAC') to provide real-time information sharing relating to threats to the aviation sector.

      (2) SCOPE- The Secretary shall study the feasibility of providing information sharing and analysis on a formal and informal basis among public and private sector entities in a manner that ensures a better understanding of security problems in the aviation sector, better communication of critical infrastructure information, and better prevention, detection, and mitigation of security threats related to critical aviation infrastructure.

      (3) REPORTS- The Secretary shall submit a report to Congress not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act on the results of the study conducted under this subsection.

    (d) International Cooperation- The Secretary of Homeland Security shall continue to advocate for international cooperation in the development of international aviation security standards, using both bilateral and multilateral approaches by working with foreign governments and organizations to strengthen security while promoting travel and protecting travelers' rights.

SEC. 5. ACCESS TO INFORMATION DATABASES.

    The Assistant Secretary shall--

      (1) require the Transportation Security Administration's Transportation Security Operations Center to utilize all of the law enforcement and intelligence databases available to the Center when checking passengers whose behavior warrants intervention by a law enforcement official; and

      (2) standardize and streamline threat-reporting guidelines to allow behavior detection officers or other designated Transportation Security Administration officials to receive information from the Transportation Security Operations Center in a timely manner.

SEC. 6. STANDARDIZATION OF POLICIES OF THE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION.

    The Assistant Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, continue to ensure the standardization of the security and personnel procedures of the Transportation Security Administration at airports in the United States, including by--

      (1) requiring standard operating procedures to be consistently enforced by the Transportation Security Administration at each airport in the United States;

      (2) standardizing career advancement policies based on merit; and

      (3) establishing timeframes and milestones for systematically conducting evaluations of the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) training program, in order to ensure behavior detection officers possess the knowledge and skills needed to perform their duties.

SEC. 7. DEPLOYMENT OF ADDITIONAL SECURITY.

    The Assistant Secretary shall--

      (1) deploy behavior detection officers to events designated as National Special Security Events by the Secretary of Homeland Security, as deemed appropriate; and

      (2) deploy Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams at passenger rail facilities to enhance security and cross-training opportunities for behavior detection officers, as deemed appropriate.

SEC. 8. EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK.

    The Assistant Secretary shall establish an electronic medium through which Transportation Security Officers and behavior detection officers of the Transportation Security Administration may anonymously submit feedback to the Assistant Secretary regarding--

      (1) the effectiveness of transportation security programs; and

      (2) any management issue that such personnel may wish to bring to the attention of the Assistant Secretary.

SEC. 9. AIR CARGO SECURITY.

    The Assistant Secretary shall develop and implement a system to verify the accuracy of air carrier screening data to determine the level of compliance with the congressionally mandated 100-percent air cargo screening requirements specified in section 232 of the SAFE Port Act (6 U.S.C. 982).

SEC. 10. EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY OF SCREENING TECHNOLOGIES.

    (a) In General- The Assistant Secretary shall develop a technology implementation plan that establishes how screening technologies will be integrated into overall aviation security systems at airports. As part of the plan, the Assistant Secretary shall--

      (1) perform an internal study and evaluation of passenger and cargo screening technologies and equipment before entering into any contract to purchase a new technology; and

      (2) ensure that all passenger and cargo screening technology and equipment can be upgraded and easily integrated with other technologies.

    (b) Special Requirements- Before deploying any passenger or screening technology or equipment that is designed to detect explosive compounds, the Assistant Secretary shall ensure that the technology and equipment can detect all explosive compounds that are known and characterized, such as pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) and acetone peroxide (TATP).

    (c) Report- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and for each of the 5 years thereafter, the Assistant Secretary shall report to Congress on the actions the Assistant Secretary is taking to address--

      (1) the recommendations included in Department of Homeland Security's April 2011 Science and Technology Directorate study on the Transportation Security Administration's behavior detection (commonly referred to as `SPOT');

      (2) the recommendations included in the Government Accounting Office's May 2010 SPOT report; and

      (3) any additional steps the Assistant Secretary has taken, or is considering taking, to ensure that the behavior analysis program is a cost-effective and valid counterterrorism screening tool.

SEC. 11. FREQUENT TRAVELER PROGRAM.

    The Secretary of Homeland Security shall explore expanding access to international trusted traveler programs for international passengers entering the United States by looking at other domestic and foreign government trusted traveler programs and identifying the best practices. The Secretary shall also take the lead in establishing a multinational network of streamlined entry procedures for low-risk travelers. The Assistant Secretary shall report to Congress not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act with recommendations for changes in law that may be necessary to streamline entry procedures.

SEC. 12. AIRPORT INFRASTRUCTURE.

    In carrying out this Act, the Assistant Secretary shall work with each airport and offsite airport-related facility to continue to obtain sufficient physical space for Transportation Security Officers to work or train when not performing screening duty and report to Congress not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act on the status of the effort to obtain such space.

SEC. 13. AVIATION ADVISORY PANEL.

    (a) In General- To assist in carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Assistant Secretary shall establish an independent panel of experts comprised of leaders from State and local governments, first responder communities, the private sector, and academia, with appropriate security clearances to review Transportation Security Administration aviation security programs, including passenger screening programs, checked baggage screening programs, and air cargo screening programs--

      (1) to assess the risk each program is designed to mitigate; and

      (2) to develop metrics for measuring the progress of each program in lessening that risk.

    (b) Report- Not later than 90 days after completing a review of each program described in subsection (a), the Assistant Secretary shall submit to Congress a copy of the report completed by the panel of experts under subsection (a) and an action plan with defined milestones for addressing the findings and recommendations of the panel.

END