On the morning of September 11, 2001, nearly three-thousand people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The attacks left a profound effect upon our country and set in motion a chain of events that resulted in the creation of a new federal agency designed to prevent similar attacks in the future. Driven by a desire to help our nation, tens of thousands of people joined this new agency and committed themselves to strengthening our transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce.
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, passed by the 107th Congress and signed on November 19, 2001, established TSA and required the completion of more than 30 mandates by the end of 2002. In the largest civilian undertaking in the history of the United States, TSA met each one of these initial requirements including:
- Assuming responsibility for all civil aviation security functions from the Federal Aviation Administration.
- Hiring, training and deploying security officers for over 400 commercial airports from Guam to Alaska in 12 months.
- Providing 100 percent screening of all checked baggage for explosives by December 31, 2002.
In March 2003, TSA transferred from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security which wascreated on November 25, 2002 by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 unifying the nation's response to threats to the homeland.