Transportation Security Subcommittee Passes Payne Bill to Bolster TSA, Aviation Stakeholder Collaboration

Jul 23, 2015 Issues: National Security

Washington, D.C. – Legislation introduced by Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) to strengthen partnerships between the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and key stakeholders has passed the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Transportation Security. The Partners for Aviation Security Act (H.R.3144), which requires the TSA to consult with the Aviation Security Advisory Committee regarding modifications to the prohibited item list, now advances to the full committee for consideration.

“Collaboration between the TSA and key aviation stakeholders is essential to enhancing security measures,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “These stakeholders are able to provide the TSA with insights that will increase our understanding of security concerns and vulnerabilities and guide smart aviation policy decisions. There is a clear need to ensure that these partnerships remain robust and ongoing.”

In 2012, then-TSA Administrator John Pistole changed the prohibited items list to allow small knives and sporting goods equipment to be stowed in carry-on luggage and eventually allowed on planes. Under pressure from the Committee on Homeland Security and a wide range of stakeholders, TSA ultimately reversed its position. Subsequently, the U.S. Government Accountability Office recommended that the TSA put protocols in place to consult stakeholders before making such changes to the prohibited items list. 

In addition to requiring TSA consultation with key stakeholders, Congressman Payne, Jr.’s legislation requires a TSA report on the Transportation Security Oversight Board and makes a technical correction to existing law to ensure that there are no lapses in activity for the Aviation Security Advisory Committee.

The Partners for Aviation Security Act:

  • Requires the Transportation Security Administration to consult, to the extent practicable, with the Aviation Security Advisory Committee about any changes made to the Prohibited Items List.
  • Requires the Transportation Security Administration, within 120 days of enactment, to report on the status and activities of the Transportation Security Oversight Board (TSOB). The report may include recommendations for changes to the TSOB in light of the establishment of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee.
  • Clarifies existing law by ensuring that after a member of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee serves for two years, he or she may continue to serve on the committee until a successor is in place.

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