H.R. 3102, Airport Access Control Security Improvement Act of 2015, as amended

H.R. 3102

Airport Access Control Security Improvement Act of 2015, as amended

Sponsor
Rep. John Katko

Date
October 6, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 3102, the Airport Access Control Security Improvement Act of 2015, as amended, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 3102 was introduced on July 16, 2015 by Rep. John Katko (R-NY) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, which ordered the bill reported by voice vote on September 30, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3102 is designed to reform and streamline Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening procedures for airport and airline employees to ensure that only individuals authorized to have access to secure areas of airports are granted such access.  Specifically, the bill requires TSA to:

  • Establish a risk-based and intelligence-driven model for screening airport employees based on their level of access and employment positions at domestic airports. (The screening model must ensure that only authorized individuals have access to secure airport areas, an individual’s whose access authorization has been withdrawn is immediately denied access to such areas, and provide a means to differentiate between individuals authorized to have access to an entire secure area and individuals authorized access to only a particular portion of a secure area);
  • Work with government and industry stakeholders to conduct an aviation security risk-based review of certain disqualifying offenses to determine the appropriateness of such offenses as a basis for denying a credential that allows unescorted access to secure airport areas;
  • Review the auditing procedures for all airport-issued identification media, including the feasibility of including biometric standards for all airport-issued identification used for identity and badge verification;
  • Establish a program to allow airport badging offices to use the E-Verify employment eligibility confirmation system; and,
  • Create a national database of employees who have had either their airport or aircraft operator-issued badge revoked for failure to comply with aviation security requirements.

Background

TSA’s mission is to protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.  TSA seeks to provide the most effective transportation security in the most efficient way as a high performing counterterrorism organization.[1]

The Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC), which provides advice to the TSA administrator on aviation security matters, including the development, refinement, and implementation of policies, programs, rulemaking, and security directives pertaining to aviation security, issued a report in May evaluating options for improving airport employee access control.  H.R. 3102 is designed to codify those recommendations.

According to the bill sponsor, “as threats to our aviation sector continue to evolve, commonsense reforms—such as clearly differentiating between individuals authorized to have access to secure areas, and those who do not, or requiring criminal background checks that cover an extended history—will go a long way in ensuring safety at our airports.”[2]

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[1] http://www.tsa.gov/about/tsa-mission
[2] See Press Release—“In response to recent security breaches at airports nationwide, Katko introduces legislation to bolster employee access control measures,” July 20, 2015.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently unavailable.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.