CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, June 26, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1447, the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2011, under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval. H.R. 1447 was introduced by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) on April 8, 2012 and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security. The Homeland Security Committee held a mark-up session on September 21, 2011 and ordered the bill reported by a voice vote.
H.R. 1447 would re-establish the Aviation Security Advisory Committee within the Transportation Security Administration and would require the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a variety of working groups within that advisory committee to make recommendations related to the security of air cargo systems, general aviation facilities and operations, and airport perimeters.
The bill would require the Assistant Secretary (Transportation Security Administration) to consult with the Advisory Committee on aviation security matters and require the Advisory Committee, at the request of the Assistant Secretary, to develop recommendations to improve aviation security. Additionally, the Advisory Committee would be required to submit reports to the Assistant Secretary and an annual report on the activities and findings for the preceding year.
Additionally, the bill would require the Assistant Secretary to appoint members to the Advisory Committee within 180 days of enactment and include individuals representing not more than 27 member organizations covering a variety of industries. The Advisory Committee would be required meet at least twice each year.
Lastly, the bill would also establish a working group within the Advisory Committee for: 1) air cargo security, 2) general aviation security, and 3) perimeter security and would require the respective groups to meeting quarterly.
According to H. Rept. 112-269 from the Committee on Homeland Security, “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) in 1989 following the bombing of Pan American World Airways Flight 103. When the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was established, the sponsorship of the ASAC transferred to TSA. Despite significant contributions to TSA policymaking, particularly with respect to air cargo security, and strong support from aviation security stakeholders who participated in the ASAC, TSA allowed the ASAC's charter to expire. Three months after Rep. Bennie G. Thompson introduced this legislation, on July 7, 2011, TSA published an announcement in the Federal Register to re-establish the ASAC, providing a setting for the aviation industry to formally provide TSA with their insights into the practical, on-the-ground considerations and impact of aviation security policies.
H.R. 1447 provides for the establishment of an ASAC to assist and make recommendations to the TSA Assistant Secretary on aviation security matters, including the development and implementation of policies, programs, rulemaking, and security directives pertaining to aviation security. The ASAC is directed to meet at least semi-annually and be composed of not more than 27 members including representatives from air carriers, all cargo air transportation, indirect air carriers, labor organizations representing air carrier employees, aircraft manufacturers, airport operators, general aviation, privacy, the travel industry, and the aviation technology security industry, including biometrics.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that any increase in federal spending to fulfill new requirements under H.R. 1447 would total less than $500,000 annually, and would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. H.R. 1447 would not affect direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.