A year of leadership challenges in aviation security
YARMOUTH, Maine—Aviation security continued to be a hot topic in 2010. The year started off with significant discussion about how to improve communication channels and experts discussed their thoughts on how to best fix aviation security. Many aviation security folks continue to strive to find that balance between enhanced technology and ensuring that employees are well trained to detect suspicious activity.
National leadership was a huge challenge for aviation security. A five-month long nomination process for Erroll Southers became a political brawl over the possibility that, if confirmed, he would grant TSA employees collective bargaining rights. It proved to be too damaging to the former assistant chief of intelligence and emergency for Los Angeles World Airport and he withdrew his nomination in January. Next, Army Major Gen. Robert A. Harding was nominated to become the TSA administrator, but withdrew his name after only 18 days. Then finally, after a year and five months of the TSA not having an administrator, John Pistole was nominated and unanimously approved. Some folks questioned the former FBI deputy director’s aviation experience.
Since his appointment, TSA has announced that 100 percent of passengers traveling within the U.S. are being checked against terrorist watchlists and also managed to meet the Congressional mandate of 100 percent screening of cargo on domestic passenger aircraft. The TSA is also empowering its employees by giving them access to intelligence information.
Here are the Top 5 Aviation Security stories of 2010: