When former Secretary Tom Ridge departed DHS, the international registered traveler program was placed on hold with the new leadership focused on a range of other significant international travel issues. However, CBP continued to press the case for its risk management tool and DHS approved the initiative earlier this year which was branded Global Entry and announced in April of this year. To truly succeed in fulfilling its potential, however, the Global Entry program will need a number of important enhancements.
Resiliency is emerging as the underlying theme for protecting infrastructure, integrated in both policy drafting and boots-on-the-ground tactics across a number of different transportation industries. Two recent conferences – one focusing on the maritime industry and one on the trucking industry – illustrate that to move towards resiliency, there needs to be a solid infrastructure established by the government as well as a business incentive for industries to take action.
The 2004 Madrid subway attacks and the 2005 London subway and bus attacks demonstrate that the terrorists consider passenger rail and mass transit as preferred targets. The rising fuel costs for automobiles and congested air travel could logically push more passengers to rail throughout the course of the year and beyond. This is where DHS and DOT should place their emphasis.