Transportation subcommittee releases report on security since Sept. 11, 2001

The Subcommittee on Transportation Security released a report on Tuesday detailing the successes and failures of the Transportation Security Administration since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The subcommittee, which is a part of the Committee on Homeland Security, examined TSA's regulations, rules, operations and impact on the transportation industry at large. The examination included seven site visits, 15 member briefings, 22 hearings and an in-depth review by the staff and majority members of the subcommittee.

The report states that the TSA must advance risk-based security by expanding the use of canine explosive detection assets, adopting a thorough plan to mitigate threats of an evolving nature and prioritizing the harmonization of aviation security standards throughout the world. The report also recommends that privacy protections of passengers be strengthened by independently analyzing potential health impacts of passenger screening machines, placing privacy software on the machines and enlisting the help of the private sector to modernize the process to reduce pat-downs.

The subcommittee also recommended that spending should be limited by reducing the size of the TSA workforce, that jobs should be created by contracting with the private sector to perform screening and that red tape should be cut by reforming the prohibited items list for better reflection of evolving threats.

The TSA has responded to threats by immediately and permanently imposing policy changes. Other changes have banned liquids, gels, certain food items and have required the removal of video cameras, laptops and other electronics from carry-on bags during screening.