TSA is expanding its outreach to protect transportation security around the world.
TSA’s Policy, Plans and Engagement (PPE) hosted a first-of-its-kind Regional Industry Summit in Madrid, Spain. It was the first time in the summit’s six-year history that PPE held the event in a hybrid format, allowing air carriers across Europe to participate in person or online.
The two-day event, conducted in partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airlines for Europe (A4E), focused on developing strategic policy, compliance, and aviation operations.
“Engagements like the Regional Industry Summits are great opportunities for strategic, mission-focused discussions with our industry partners,” said TSA Senior Official Performing the Duties of Deputy Administrator Stacey Fitzmaurice, who flew to Madrid to participate. “I appreciated the opportunity to discuss items like cybersecurity, COVID resilience, One-Stop Security and the newly released U.S. National Travel and Tourism Strategy with Regional Industry Summit participants.”
One-Stop Security is a process that would allow international travelers arriving in the U.S. from certain international airports to continue to other U.S. destinations without TSA rescreening, essentially streamlining transfers.
The summit gave TSA leaders a great opportunity to hear from foreign and U.S. air carriers on security concerns, vulnerabilities and other issues impacting aviation operations in Europe. TSA welcomed presentations from air carrier partners Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, and British Airways on best practices in the development of biometrics technology and mitigation.
“The European Regional Industry Summit showed the great partnership between TSA, IATA, A4E and our airline colleagues as we work together to improve security,” TSA International Industry Representative (IIR) and Engagement Branch Manager David Gordner said. “The unique hybrid format allowed over 90 stakeholders (from more than 50 airlines) to have an open and frank exchange of ideas on current issues while identifying areas where we can collaborate further to enhance security and facilitate travel. I greatly appreciate the hard work of our Europe IIRs, IATA, and A4E in making this such a meaningful event.”
Gordner believes conducting the event in person and virtually this year opened the door for greater European air carrier participation.
TSA began hosting the annual Regional Industry Summits in 2016 as a way to enhance engagement with foreign air carriers operating in the U.S. as well as U.S. aircraft operators who fly internationally.
“Many thanks to the Operations Support PPE International team as well as all the offices who supported the summit to make it such a success,” added Fitzmaurice, who provided opening and closing remarks for the event.
By Don Wagner, TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs