TSA and St. Lucia partner to enhance aviation security

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National Press Release
Tuesday, January 6, 2009

ST. LUCIA - The U.S Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the St. Lucian Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation announced today a plan to enhance aviation security on the Caribbean island nation.

The two entities signed a Joint Statement of Intent for the development and enhancement of aviation security initiatives, including plans to conduct assessments, develop aviation security programs and share best practices. To support this partnership, TSA has deployed an Aviation Security Sustainable International Standards Teams (ASSIST), a group of veteran security experts, to collaborate with local security officials.

"TSA's partnership with the ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation in St. Lucia is a win for everyone involved, most notably passengers," said Cindy Farkus, assistant administrator for TSA's Office of Global Strategies. "This alliance will build a robust aviation security system on the island and will simultaneously raise the baseline of aviation security throughout the Caribbean and in all nations with air service to and from St. Lucia."

TSA's primary focus will be to assist local officials in enhancing aviation security programs following an initial security assessment. The team will work to enhance aviation security capacity and effectively build sustainable institutions and practices through local alliances. TSA will assess such things as training needs, equipment, current aviation programs, and aviation security legislation.

St Lucia is the first nation to participate in TSA's ASSIST program. TSA hopes to expand the pilot to other nations in the coming months.

More information on TSA is available at www.tsa.gov.