U.S. Travel Highlights Post-9/11 Aviation Security And Travel Challenges

The following information was released by the U.S. Travel Association:

More than a decade after 9/11, the United States' aviation system faces three major challenges that carry serious economic implications, according to testimony by the U.S. Travel Association's Chief Operating Officer, Geoff Freeman, given today.

"The first challenge - and a top priority for the travel industry - is achieving the highest level of security in the face of numerous and shifting threats," said Freeman. "The second major challenge facing TSA is the growing inefficiency of the passenger screening process. Repeated studies show that TSA's security checkpoints are time-consuming, frustrating, and deterring millions of people from traveling each year. The third challenge facing TSA is the rapid cost increase of screening per passenger."

Freeman testified before the House Subcommittee on Transportation Security in a hearing titled, "Eleven Years After 9/11 Can TSA Evolve to Meet the Next Terrorist Threat?" Testifying with Freeman was Sam Gilliland, chairman and CEO of Sabre Holdings and co-chairman of a blue ribbon panel the U.S. Travel Association commissioned to report on post-9/11 aviation issues.

Freeman provided solutions to problems currently facing the Transportation and Security Administration's trusted traveler program called PreCheck. Those included expanding PreCheck through private sector innovation and technology, allowing interoperability for all PreCheck enrollees and increasing predictability through background checks, which will allow TSA to lower its rates of randomized screening.

Additionally, Freeman urged Congress to take the lead in helping TSA solve its long-term problems in three areas: (1) hearings and oversight; (2) legislative action such as a TSA reauthorization bill; and (3) viewing security and efficiency as equal and obtainable goals.

A copy of Freeman's testimony may be downloaded here.


Cathy Keefe 202-408-2183

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $1.9 trillion in economic output and supports 14.4 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.

Copyright 2012 States News Service