RE: TSA Priorities: Agency needs to rethink TWIC in light of the funding realities, says consultant

By John Becker, Director, Tyco Fire & Security Agency needs to rethink TWIC in light of the funding realities, says consultant Consider the Transportation Worker Identification Card. TWIC? How about Worldwide Airport Security Tags for...

Access Control. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) is vague on TSA’s responsibilities for airport access control. Airports want to move forward. TSA needs to adopt the recently revised RTCA Standards for Airport Security Access Control.

Biometrics. ATSA specifically requires TSA to conduct a pilot program of not less than 20 airports to test emerging technologies, including biometric authentication. TSA is moving forward, but the timetable is unknown. Airports are afraid of investing in a particular technology (fingerprint, iris scan, hand geometry, etc.), to find out later that TSA hasn’t specified it. Again, TSA should approve the RTCA document as the industry guideline.

Video Surveillance. TSA needs to start providing airports with funding options to pay for this much needed security enhancement.

Video Recording. With the dawn of digital video recorders (DVRs), airports with a large number of cameras now have a viable solution to record all video.

Perimeter Security. A number of products exist in the market, including taut wire, radar-based, infrared, and microwave. This technology is expensive and requires a major capital investment. It also requires integration with existing systems.

Breach Control. Roll down gates activated by the access control system can be used to isolate a particular terminal or concourse. Video cameras at checkpoints, hooked into a digital video recorder, could be used to capture a photo of the suspect. Flight information display monitors and other dynamic signage can broadcast the photo throughout the concourse, utilizing employees and passengers to locate the suspect. Law enforcement can then analyze the situation and determine if evacuation and rescreening is necessary.

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John Becker is director of Airport Business Development for Tyco Security Business Partners, and previously worked in security at various U.S. airports, including O’Hare.

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