Aviation Security Advisory Committee Fact Sheet

Aviation Security Advisory Committee Fact Sheet


October 1, 2003, US Department Homeland Security, Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) is a standing committee composed of federal and private sector organizations that was created in 1989 in the wake of the crash of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.  In May 2003, three working groups of ASAC met for the first time to develop recommendations to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to enhance air cargo security.

The working groups developed almost forty recommendations covering twenty-two topic areas; these are summarized below.  TSA will review these recommendations, and other materials, as it develops a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for enhancing air cargo security.


ASAC Recommendations

  • Strengthen the Known Shipper Program

    • Improve technology links between air carriers and forwarders and the federal government to ensure that known shippers are vetted against all relevant government watch lists

    • Expand databases using the latest advancements in link analysis as well as commercial data sources to further verify shipper legitimacy

    • Simplify certain program regulations to improve compliance

  • Leverage new technology

    • Implement a layered approach to cargo security that includes cargo profiling, inspection and detection.  

    • Pursue further research and development of cargo screening technologies with industry involvement in review of such technologies.

  • Enhance regulation of Indirect Air Carriers (IAC)

    • Raise the security of IAC agents and contractors

    • Require pre-employment screening of all persons with access to freight

    • Set minimum federal standards for background checks similar to those used in the passenger airport environment

    • Develop tools that industry can use to ensure greater compliance with TSA requirements

  • Strengthen security for all-cargo aircraft

    • Raise perimeter security at all-cargo facilities

    • Enhance personnel security procedures at all-cargo facilities

    • Establish a revised "prohibited items" list for cargo personnel

    • Reinforce measures to ensure the security of cargo aircraft

    • Improve communication between TSA and aircraft operators to facilitate compliance with new regulations and allow for rapid response to potential security incidents

ASAC Dissentions

  • One member of the committee believed the group's recommendations went too far

  • Other ASAC members felt the committee did not go far enough in their recommendations to enhance security

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