May 2, 2014
In a letter to Sens. John “Jay” D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and John Thune (R-SD), NBAA and several other industry groups expressed strong support for S.1893, the Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act, and S.1804, the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act.
“Both bills were developed with significant input from our industries and represent important progress toward streamlining the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) acquisition process and improving decision-making, by including industry stakeholders on issues affecting aviation security,” the April 29 letter states. “These no cost, common sense bills would benefit the transportation industry by requiring TSA to conduct meaningful private sector engagement and coordination, strategic planning, and transparent technology procurements, which will save taxpayer dollars and strengthen security in the long term.
The Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act, introduced by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), would help streamline the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) acquisition process and allow for better congressional oversight of TSA resources. The act would also require the TSA administrator to report annually to Congress on TSA’s goals regarding contracting with small and disadvantaged businesses.
The Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act, introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), would permanently establish an Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC); the committee was established in 1989 in the wake of the crash of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland but there have often been long breaks in its activity over the years. This act would improve decision making within the agency by including industry stakeholders on issues affecting aviation security. More importantly, the act would create a permanent general aviation security subcommittee within the ASAC.
Versions of these two bills have already passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bills have now been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, where Rockefeller serves as chairman and Thune serves as the ranking member.
“Chairman Rockefeller and Ranking Member Thune have been long-time partners with NBAA in providing reasonable but effective security measures,” said Dick Doubrava, NBAA vice president, government affairs. “We are hopeful these two important bills will receive the same bipartisan enthusiasm in the Senate as they did in the House. We strongly encourage the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to move the bills through the committee for consideration by the Senate.”