TSA’s commitment to lead aviation security around the world keeps growing.
he agency partnered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), bringing together over 60 security professionals from more than 40 air carriers for a European summit in Madrid, Spain.
For the second straight year, TSA Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Administrator Stacey Fitzmaurice traveled to the big event to share TSA’s vision with our international partners.
“I am so glad to be here again to continue the dialogue with our air carrier partners and discuss recommendations for strengthening aviation security globally,” said Fitzmaurice. “We hope this (summit) will lead to even greater collaboration and improved security effectiveness going forward.”
The goal of this year’s summit was to elevate industry feedback to TSA and IATA on regulatory policy. Attendees participated in panel discussions on policy, international risk and compliance before dividing into five working groups to discuss and develop regulatory policy recommendations.
“This Regional Industry Summit was one of a kind,” said Manny Melendez, deputy executive director of TSA’s Air Cargo Division. “The work group concept not only provided participants an opportunity to work together but more importantly strengthen relationships. The cargo work group tackled hard questions and worked with industry to clarify policy language to ensure consistency.”
The new format was designed to allow air carriers to more actively discuss questions, issues and concerns they had regarding TSA program requirements in aviation security, including cargo.
“It is absolutely critical that TSA continue to facilitate these types of industry discussions with international air carriers as they represent a large percentage of passenger and cargo operations into and out of the United States,” said TSA International Industry Representative Jeanette Fassl, who serves the agency in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
For the last two years, TSA’s Policy, Plans and Engagement (PPE) has increased engagement with IATA to open the door to new ways for the aviation industry to collaborate.
“The International Industry Representative team did an excellent job creating an innovative format to incorporate carrier feedback into meaningful policy options,” added PPE International Policy and Program Division Deputy Executive Director Carol Beck. “The event was really constructive and very well received by the carriers that participated.”
Fitzmaurice said protecting our global transportation network requires robust partnerships and effective security operations across both the public and private sectors.
“I appreciate your partnership as we work through and find solutions to the unprecedented impacts and challenges we face in the aviation sector,” Fitzmaurice told summit participants. “Together, I know we will adapt and innovate to reflect the new travel environment without losing focus on our primary mission of securing the sector against terrorist threats.”
By Don Wagner, TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs