Rep. John Katko Introduces Legislation to Enhance Airport Security


Just days after chairing his first Transportation Security subcommittee hearing, Rep. John Katko has introduced two bipartisan bills to enhance security measures at domestic airports and to ensure funding is used wisely by the Transportation Security Administration.

Katko’s inaugural Transportation Security subcommittee hearing, entitled “A Review of Access Control Measures at Our Nation’s Airports,” was held Tuesday, February 3.

The hearing followed reports of several high profile security breaches at domestic airports.

Specifically, the hearing examined security programs designed to mitigate potential insider threats from airport employees, TSA personnel, and others who have access to sterile areas of domestic airports.

The bipartisan bills introduced by Katko are designed to enhance airport security measures in a cost-effective manner.

H.R. 720, the Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act, directs the Department of Homeland Security to undertake a variety of activities to enhance security and communication at domestic airports, specifically requiring TSA to verify that all airports have appropriate security response plans.

The bill is named after the TSA agent who tragically lost his life in the line of duty in a November 2013 shooting at Los Angeles International Airport.

H.R. 719, the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act, ensures that funding is used wisely by TSA.

It would require that TSA Criminal Investigators spend at least 50 percent of their time investigating, apprehending, or detaining individuals suspected of committing a crime.

Currently, TSA does not necessitate that its criminal investigators meet this requirement, despite being considered law enforcement.