The U.S. and United Kingdom have a close security relationship, and Administrator David Pekoske took that partnership to the next level by hosting U.K. Secretary of State for Transport The Right Honourable Grant Shapps at TSA headquarters in Springfield, Virginia.
Pekoske led Shapps on a “walk and talk” tour of TSA’s Mission Hall. Pekoske told the U.K. leader that Mission Hall “highlights the creation, key events and evolution of TSA’s 20 years of protecting the nation’s transportation systems.”
The goal of the visit was to emphasize the close partnership between TSA and the U.K. Department of Transport (UK Dft), underscore the importance of the Transatlantic Aviation Industry Roundtable (TAIR) and the shared mission to strengthen the global transportation network.
Pekoske and Shapps reflected on a March 2020 TAIR meeting during which the U.S. and U.K. co‑signed the Joint Statement of Intent on Mutual Recognition. That agreement initiated the U.S./U.K. One-Stop Security (OSS) pilot effort to improve and streamline the travel experience for people traveling between the two countries.
OSS is designed to improve efficiency and eliminate duplicate security measures by allowing the U.S. and U.K. to acknowledge the level of security provided by both partner countries.
“Our interagency partnerships, such as the one we have with the U.K. and this agreement, benefit all of us greatly by allowing us to share best practices and collaborate on transportation security,” said Pekoske.
Pekoske also addressed TSA’s investment in emerging technology and advancing aviation security. Through the pandemic, new technology created opportunities for TSA to further develop a more seamless and touchless travel experience for passengers.
In addition, the Administrator spotlighted Open Architecture, which centers around TSA’s increased collaboration with partners across the nation’s transportation network and drives innovation, requirements and standards.
Shapps agreed with Pekoske on the value of advanced technology and innovation, describing how the DfT is moving to deploy AIT and CT technology at all U.K. airports.
By Wayne Carey & Lindsey Posmanick, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs
Editor’s note: The U.K. Secretary of State for Transport has overall responsibility for the policies of the Department for Transport and cabinet responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse, a proposal to boost economic growth in the North of England and oversight of departmental COVID-19 responsibilities.