Aviation and airport security

Loaned Executives Needed for FEMA and TSA

The DHS Loaned Executive Program announced two new openings: Senior Advisor, Customer Experience for FEMA and Senior Advisor, Social Media Customer Service for TSA.

As Drone Use Grows, Reps Eye Threat from Bioterrorism

The recent House Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on the threat from bioterrorism raised the troubling threat that drones could be used to deliver deadly pathogens. Do we have the tools to detect biological agents and the drones that might carry them? Nope.

After TSA Airport Failures, Security Versus the Economy

The recent DHS Inspector General test of TSA airport screening processes revealed a 95% failure rate. To improve, tradeoffs will have to be made, and they all have costs. How much the failure rate changes will depend on how much people will want to pay.

Fixing the TSA FOIA Request Backlog with Risk Taking

There were about 160,000 unanswered FOIA requests in 2014, with the Department of Homeland Security accounting for 65%. The federal government has a culture of risk aversion, but there are four reasons why taking a smart risk in answering FOIA requests would be good for TSA and other agencies.

After TSA Fails IG Red Team Test, Accountability at DHS

As much as I like Mel Carraway, it is difficult to disagree with DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s decision to reassign Carraway, the (now former) acting TSA Administrator. The news reports of an Inspector General (IG) investigation finding serious problems in TSA screening processes were difficult to ignore. A good man – one whom I am 100% convinced does not condone sloppy security procedures – was sacrificed to set an example to the rest of the agency.

DHS Policy on Customer Service Data

In an era where the public and private sectors alike are using data analytics to better understand and manage resources, DHS’ stance on making customer service compliment and complaint data publicly available is frustrating. This is a missed opportunity, as public access to analyze and learn from this data would improve our national economy, especially the travel and tourism industries.

Is There a Culture of Incompetence in TSA Airport Operations?

The watchdog group Judicial Watch issued a press release announcing it had obtained records from TSA detailing allegations of sexually related assaults on passengers by TSA screeners. Unfortunately, these claims are just the latest in a trend of poor TSA performance at the Nation’s airports. It’s time for a change at TSA.

Judicial Watch is Wrong on Claims of Improper TSA Screening

TSA has responded to outlandish claims made by Judicial Watch about TSA screeners. Judicial Watch asserts that TSA screeners were engaged in improper behavior while performing secondary screening procedures, such as a despicable occurrence at Denver International Airport. Rather than commend TSA leadership for its prompt action, Judicial Watch and others paint with broad brushes to create the (false) impression that most, if not all, TSA screeners are insensitive “perverts.” I know the truth is otherwise.

Running the Numbers on TSA Pre-Check and Courtesy Complaints

The travel and tourism industry would benefit from understanding how well the efforts of TSA contribute to improved customer service at our nation’s airports. Fortunately, they provide this data to the Department of Transportation (DOT). This analysis shows some of the impacts before and after the introduction of Pre-Check.

White House to Nominate Admiral Neffenger to Lead TSA

Rumors have been swirling around the homeland security community for the past three weeks that U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Pete Neffenger would be named to lead the Transportation Security Administration. Today, the White House made it official.