More Secure Air Travel with Secure Flight: One Month Advance Milestone Achievement

  • Date: December 02, 2010
  • Source: Admin
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made an announcement proclaiming that all passengers on flights in and out of the country are being verified against government watchlists. This was done one month ahead of schedule in accordance with a 9/11 Commission recommendation. The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) is now 100 percent responsible for vetting air passengers against terrorist watchlists.

The TSA uses Secure Flight to scan passenger manifests. The program screens names, date of birth, and gender and compares it to the terrorist watchlists. The screening is complete before a passenger receives the boarding pass, providing secure travel to all passengers. Additionally, Secure Flight helps prevent passenger misidentification with similar names on government watchlists. Airlines were previously responsible for making the check against watchlists.

“Each and every one of the security measures we implement serves an important goal: providing safe and efficient air travel for the millions of people who rely on our aviation system every day,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Secure Flight makes air travel safer for everyone by screening every passenger against the latest intelligence before a boarding pass is issued.”

The Secure Flight program clears 99 percent of all passengers to print boarding passes at a self-serve kiosk or at home. Secondary screening will be done in case of a match on any of the watchlist parameters, subjecting the passenger to a law enforcement interview or prohibition from boarding an aircraft, depending on the case.

Law enforcement, advanced technology, international collaboration, intelligence and terrorist watchlist checks are among some of the many measures that run in and behind the scene, deployed by the TSA in its layered security approach (risk based) to ensure secure travel.

Canada to follow suit

Canada is likely to implement Secure Flight, surrendering details of its passengers to the U.S program. Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act, requires Canadian airline carriers that fly over the U.S. to provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with passenger information. This includes flights that fly through American airspace, drawing controversy in that it clashes with existing Canadian protection and privacy laws. Under Canada’s Passenger Protect Program, “airlines must compare passenger's names against a list that is controlled and managed by Transport Canada before a boarding pass is issued.”



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