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IG Testifies Before National Commission on Terrorist Attacks

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The Inspector General testified before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States regarding the status of aviation security. He reported that aviation security is much tighter now than before the September 11 terrorist attacks. Pre-9-11, there were significant weaknesses, even for the type of threat the security model was designed to prevent, and there were counter pressures to control security costs and limit the impact of security on aviation operations. The new security model is much more likely to ensure strong aviation security. The IG cautioned that time from a terrorist event may lead to complacency and pressures to relax security. He recommended: gathering intelligence on homeland and transportation security; integrating explosive detection systems into airport baggage handling; investing in research and development for more effective screening equipment; implementing an aggressive covert testing program; establishing screener performance standards; and improving cargo security. Secretary Mineta and former FAA Administrator Jane Garvey also testified at this set of hearings.