[Senate Hearing 107-1099] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] S. Hrg. 107-1099 AVIATION SECURITY UNDER THE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: AN UPDATE ON SCREENING PASSENGERS, CHECKING BAGGAGE, TICKET COUNTER SECURITY, AND NEW TECHNOLOGY ======================================================================= FIELD HEARING before the COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION UNITED STATES SENATE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION __________ AUGUST 8, 2002 __________ Printed for the use of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 93-171 WASHINGTON : 2004 ____________________________________________________________________________ For Sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; (202) 512�091800 Fax: (202) 512�092250 Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402�090001 0SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina, Chairman DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii JOHN McCAIN, Arizona JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West TED STEVENS, Alaska Virginia CONRAD BURNS, Montana JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts TRENT LOTT, Mississippi JOHN B. BREAUX, Louisiana KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine RON WYDEN, Oregon SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas MAX CLELAND, Georgia GORDON SMITH, Oregon BARBARA BOXER, California PETER G. FITZGERALD, Illinois JOHN EDWARDS, North Carolina JOHN ENSIGN, Nevada JEAN CARNAHAN, Missouri GEORGE ALLEN, Virginia BILL NELSON, Florida Kevin D. Kayes, Democratic Staff Director Moses Boyd, Democratic Chief Counsel Jeanne Bumpus, Republican Staff Director and General Counsel C O N T E N T S ---------- Page Hearing held on August 8, 2002................................... 1 Statement of Senator Boxer....................................... 1 Witnesses Acree, Hardy, Director of Airports, Sacramento County Airport System......................................................... 10 Bowens, Thella, Director, San Diego International Airport........ 7 Green, Paul, Chief Operating Officer, Los Angeles World Airports. 4 Martin, John L., Director, San Francisco International Airport... 6 Stone, Admiral David, (Retired), Federal Security Director, Lax International Airport, Los Angeles, Transportation Security Administration; Accompanied by Ed Gomez, Federal Security Director, San Francisco Airport; and General Mike Aguilar, Federal Security Director, San Diego Airport................... 12 Prepared statement........................................... 15 AVIATION SECURITY UNDER THE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: AN UPDATE ON SCREENING PASSENGERS, CHECKING BAGGAGE, TICKET COUNTER SECURITY, AND NEW TECHNOLOGY ---------- THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2002 U.S. Senate, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Washington, DC. The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m. in the Commission Hearing Room, Administration Building, LAX International Airport, Los Angeles, Hon. Barbara Boxer, presiding. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BARBARA BOXER, U.S. SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA Senator Boxer. Good morning. I would like to welcome everyone to this hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee in order to get an update on California airport security under the Transportation Security Administration. We are almost a month away from the 1-year anniversary of September 11th. As we all painfully know, that day the terrorists hijacked four commercial jets, all of which were headed to California, including three to this very airport. Included among the thousands killed in the attacks, 39 Californians. Ever since September 11th, I have been working with other Members of the Commerce Committee to make air travel more secure. Last fall Congress passed and the President signed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act. I wrote the provision of that law that required air marshals to be on board all high- risk flights with priority given to nonstop, long distance flights. Those were the flights that were hijacked. They had a full fuel load and a light passenger load and they were large, and therefore they were targeted. Because it is classified information, I cannot give you the numbers of air marshals that we now have on planes, but I can say that we are making good progress. But in my view, we have a lot more to go in that area, and behind the scenes, I am working to make sure that the TSA lives up to what our bill said to do, which gives priority to these long distance flights. I have been working hard again with Members of this Committee--we have wonderful Members of this Committee, with Senator Hollings being the Chair and Senator McCain being the Ranking Member, and the staff of the Committee, and we have several of them behind me--because to me, it is our absolute obligation to make air travel as safe as it can be. I would say today that air travel is more secure than it has ever been. I can say that and feel good about that. But I have to say I still do not believe it is as secure as it could be or it should be. So if I have a message here in this opening statement, it is to say that now is not the time to slow down or delay our efforts to increase and improve aviation security. The job is not done, and we just have to keep working. We cannot go backward. Today, I want to examine the status of California airports under the direction of the new Federal Transportation Security Administration. We will hear updates on passenger and checkpoint screening, baggage bomb detection, and ticket counter security. I want to briefly discuss why these issues are so important. First, passenger and checkpoint screening: At the beginning of July, just a month ago, I was shocked to read that checkpoint screeners at airports in Los Angeles and Sacramento were ranked in the bottom 5 airports for high failure rates. Los Angeles and Sacramento airports have failure rates of 41 percent and 40 percent respectively. The examiners who were doing these tests did not even attempt to hide weapons and the screeners still did not find them. Two weeks ago, Transportation Secretary Mineta said at a Commerce Committee hearing that oh, well, those are the old screeners, pre-September 11. Well, that cannot be an excuse. Whether they are the old screeners or the new screeners, our screeners must be trained yesterday, and whether they are old or new does not make any difference. And I think that that type of excuse is just not going to wash with the public. When I read about the failure rates, I called those two airports and learned that they still had acting Federal security chiefs. And I am glad to say that since that call, Los Angeles has a full-fledged director. I am so happy to say that, and we're very happy with the choice. And I also learned this week that Sacramento also now has a new head, and I hope that I had something to do with it because on that day that I phoned over to Los Angeles, I felt the acting head at that time, had an understanding of what occurred and there was movement to change things. When I called to Sacramento, the individual that I spoke to was very unaware of the fact that the tests even had happened. In other words, TSA had never even informed the acting head of that airport that there was a 41 percent failure rate. So I was very distressed about that, and this individual just had not a clue as to what went wrong or what should be done. So I am really glad we now have a permanent person there. So that is the first area. Second, bomb detection in checked baggage: I am extremely concerned that the installation of baggage detection machines may not be completed by the congressionally mandated deadline, which is the end of the year. While DOT has met the deadline to screen all checked baggage, either by bag match, hand search or bomb sniffing dogs, we all know that bag match for example alone will do nothing to prevent a suicide bomber. It really amazes me. After we were attacked, we sent our troops halfway around the world, and we used such sophisticated weapons that they were able to go into caves and burrow into bunkers. So no one can convince me, no one--and if you are going to try, try, but I am being honest with you--no one can convince me, knowing American ingenuity and our can-do attitude as a people, that by the end of the year we will not be able to detect a bomb in a suitcase that is standing right in front of our feet when we have gone halfway around the world into an area nobody even knew and had bombs that burrowed into caves and bunkers. So think of it that way. There cannot be an excuse. Now, I know these machines are large and airports are developing plans to create space for them. That is an issue. We have to make it work. And today, I hope to hear from the airport officials about how the administration is working with the airports to develop and approve of these plans for these machines. We need these machines, and the administration needs to ensure that these baggage detection machines are in place by the deadline, period. Now, the House of Representatives passed a homeland security bill that slips the deadline. I do not understand how that could be part of a homeland security bill; turns it into homeland insecurity bill as far as I am concerned. So speaking for myself as one Senator, when we take up homeland security, I am going to fight against such a move. Third, the ticket counter security: There are still vulnerable spots at our airports. The breach of security at a ticket counter here in LA on July Fourth is an example. If all our airlines did not have two security guards at the site of the incident, the death toll would have been far more devastating. Put another way, there could have been a massacre. So what does that tell us? It tells us we need security at the ticket counters. As my children would have said when they were a lot younger, now they are grown up, ``duh.'' We need security at the ticket counters; very important. And I know and I compliment LAX for increasing the police presence in those areas. And I just want to make sure that you are reimbursed for that because you are supposed to be, and I want to talk to you about that. And I also want to know about what other airports are doing at their ticket counters. I am concerned about the mixed message I am getting from TSA about their involvement in this issue of ticket counter security. First when this incident happened they announced they were all over the problem. Then they backed away. And in a private meeting I had with our new head of TSA--and I wish him every good wish; I am going to work with him--he indicated this was an issue he was going to resolve. So I need to know what the status is there. We have a lot to get done if we are going to fulfill our responsibilities to Californians and the entire traveling public. So with that, we will get started. I will give you what the plan is. Our panel is Mr. Paul Green, COO of Los Angeles World Airports and Mr. John Martin from San Francisco International Airport, we welcome you. Ms. Thella Bowens, director of San Diego International Airport, we welcome you. Mr. Hardy--do I say it right?--``Acree.'' Mr. Acree. Correct. Senator Boxer.--Director of Airport, Sacramento Airport System. And we also have Mr. David Stone of the Los Angeles International Airport accompanied by Mr. Ed Gomez of the San Francisco International Airport, Mr. Aguilar of the San Diego International Airport. They are all from the Transportation Security Administration. As I understand it, there is going to be one statement; is that correct? Admiral Stone. Yes. Senator Boxer. And who is going to deliver that? Admiral Stone. I will. Senator Boxer. Mr. Stone. And then I will ask questions. This is going to be a fast-moving type of a hearing because there are so many things to cover that I hope to do so. And I want to thank you all for being willing to be here today because to us, we cannot make progress without your help and your candor. So with that, let me hear from Mr. Paul Green, COO of Los Angeles World Airports. STATEMENT OF PAUL GREEN, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS Mr. Green. Thank you. Good morning, Senator Boxer, and welcome back to Los Angeles International Airport. I am Paul Green, Chief Operating Officer for Los Angeles World Airports. For the record, Los Angeles World Airports is the city of Los Angeles department that owns and operates a system of airports comprising LAX, Ontario International, Palmdale Regional, and Van Nuys. LAX is the world's busiest origination and destination airport, meaning that more travelers and more luggage enter the worldwide aviation system at LAX than any other airport. Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak to you today regarding the vital public issue of aviation security and Los Angeles World Airports' commitment to compliance with the Aviation and Transportation Security Act. We have been working closely with the Transportation Security Administration and the air carriers to ensure we are doing our part to meet the key deadlines set forth in the new law. Communication and cooperation among all parties has been excellent. We are working together to achieve the goals of effective aviation security and efficient customer service. Working with a team of consultants, we defined existing conditions, monitored and evaluated new security requirements, developed recommended improvements required to implement the newly mandated security measures, and developed a prioritized program of implementation for both near term and long term. I am confident that we have sound plans in place to meet the November 19th passenger-screening deadline and the December 31 deadline to screen 100 percent of checked baggage. The crucial caveat is that TSA's contractors take timely delivery at LAX of the necessary equipment and the requisite number of Federal employees are available to operate this equipment. I would like to turn briefly to our response to the July Fourth tragic shooting at LAX's Bradley terminal. The immediate law enforcement response was very effective. The investigation into the shooting is continuing. Within 1 week of the shooting, Mayor Hahn announced plans to expedite his security enhancement program at LAX to allow us to hire off-duty Los Angeles police officers to increase security in the terminal areas, which Senator Boxer alluded to. This action allows the daily deployment of armed police officers in each terminal area near ticket counters and waiting areas. Currently, 60 additional officers are being processed for training and are scheduled to graduate from the Airport Police Academy in January 2003. The off-duty LAPD officers will be assisting in the terminal areas for 6 months, until this training class of LAX officers graduates. Another recent aviation security initiative announced by Mayor Hahn involves a $15 million upgrade to LAX's perimeter. The perimeter security improvements will consist of approximately 8 miles of upgraded fencing surrounding the airport. The new fencing along large portions of the airport perimeter will include a 2-1/2-foot tall concrete rail with 8 feet of heavy duty chain-link fence and six strands of barbed wire, intrusion detection devices, increased lighting, and closed-circuit television monitoring. The new security cameras will be controlled by security personnel who will be able to view the perimeter area through closed-circuit television monitors and be able to automatically zero in on any intruders. The perimeter security improvements also includes the expansion of ``sally port'' gate systems at all airfield entry points, which are used by tenant airlines, airport workers, and other authorized personnel whose jobs require access to high- security areas that are off limits to the public. The devices consist of two-sided gates, which surround vehicles until they are cleared for entry. Finally, just last week, Mayor Hahn announced that more than 1,200 video cameras will be installed throughout the airport complex through another $15 million initiative. We will be adding cameras to all domestic terminals and all areas of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The system will be integrated with existing video resources at LAX and will be administered by the Los Angeles Airport Police at a new, centralized monitoring station. In addition, video will be recorded and maintained for future use by law enforcement officials. We believe LAX will be the first airport in the United States to have such a comprehensive surveillance system. Airports in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong have had similar systems installed with excellent results. Thank you very much for the opportunity to provide you with this security status report. I will be pleased to answer any questions that you might have. Senator Boxer. Thank you. I am going to hold those until we hear from everyone. I also forgot to say that when we are done with this panel, we are all going to go look at some of the new technologies that are available to help us meet our security needs. I thought that might be interesting because in California we are really the home of a lot of those inventions and we have some of them. So we will all take a walk through after. Wonderful. Mr. Martin, welcome. Please proceed. STATEMENT OF JOHN L. MARTIN, DIRECTOR, SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Mr. Martin. Good morning, Senator Boxer. I am John Martin. I am the director of the San Francisco International Airport. I am honored to appear before you this morning to testify on the challenges of aviation security under the Transportation Security Administration and provide the Committee with an update on screening passengers, checking baggage, ticket counter security, and new technology. I am pleased to provide any information necessary for this hearing or at any other point in order that we can work with Congress, the Department of Transportation, and the Homeland Security Administration to meet the challenge of ensuring passenger safety, while meeting customer service demands. SFO does strongly support those provisions passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in the Homeland Security Bill that allow for airport security modifications to provide a more measured approach. This flexibility will allow the TSA the opportunity to deploy 100 percent-automated checked baggage screening in all terminals. It is my sincere hope that the U.S. Senate will adopt a similar provision so that the TSA will be allowed the time necessary to implement safe and efficient screening equipment. SFO was one of the first airports in the country to deploy a fully integrated checked baggage inspection system that screens all baggage for international departing flights in our international terminal. We are currently in the process of upgrading this system to become the first airport to provide 100 percent TSA-certified in-line Explosive Detection System (EDS) for all departing passenger baggage in the International Terminal, and this will be in place by the end of the year. We do appreciate the leadership of the TSA and especially Ed Gomez, who is the FFD in San Francisco, in helping to make this happen. As one of the 5 opt-out airports chosen to keep TSA- certified security contractors in place for screening responsibilities, I am confident that TSA will be able to provide SFO with a skilled work force at adequate staffing levels. At the ticket counters, SFO has added police staffing that ensures that police are in place at all times in front of the ticket counters. As a model U.S. airport for safety and security, SFO believes that any alternative interim solution to 100 percent automated checked baggage screening for checked baggage screening would be ineffective and may result in less than optimal security and unacceptable delays to the traveling public. The TSA, the airports, and the airlines need the flexibility to provide a measured and responsible approach which will allow us the opportunity to deploy 100 percent automated checked baggage screening at all terminals. While security considerations are our first priority, in the view of our security staff and consultants' views, the TSA's deployment of trace detection equipment at ticket counters using the suggested methodology would do little to enhance explosive detection. Testing of the ETD equipment indicates that they have low detection rates, much lower than the in-line EDS equipment, and that they also have high false alarm rates. A comprehensive analysis of various alternatives conducted by SFO concludes that the conservative cost of the ticket counter ETD option would be at least three times as expensive as a permanent solution using the best technology, and this is due to the extraordinarily high recurring labor costs for the use of the trace detection equipment. I have submitted a detailed comprehensive analysis for the Committee for your review. * --------------------------------------------------------------------------- * The information referred to has been retained in Committee files. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr. Martin. The lobbies at SFO and at many airports across the country are not capable of supporting large volumes of passengers that will result from baggage screening operations at the ticket counter. These infrastructure constraints will result in the implementation of a project that exposes the traveling public to an environment that is highly congested and in itself could expose passengers to potential increased security threats at the front of the terminal building and adjacent airport roadways. Passenger processing times would also increase to levels that may well be unacceptable to the traveling public and result in severe economic implications for the airlines. From a security and customer service point of view, airports need to move passengers and their luggage with the best available equipment, the best available technology and a full level of staffing. Passenger processing times must decrease, not increase, while the industry and governmental agencies continue to identify and deploy security that meets the highest standards. We must develop innovative ways of handling the flying public that allows for continuous movement of passengers from the time the passengers enter the front door of the terminal building through the ticket counter line, through the checking of the baggage, and through the security screening process. The compromise approach passed by the House in the Homeland Security Bill will allow airports and the TSA the opportunity to build and install an automated checked baggage screening system that provides effective and long term security to the traveling public, and I believe that that installation could be completed by December 31, 2003. Senator Boxer, I once again thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. This is clearly the most important issue facing U.S. airports and the aviation industry. And if I, or anyone on my staff, can be of any help as we look to Congress for help to meet the challenges, please do not hesitate to call me. This concludes my remarks, and I would be happy to answer any questions. Senator Boxer. Thank you, Mr. Martin. Since we have some basic disagreements, it will be interesting. We'll have a little chance to debate those. Ms. Thella Bowens from San Diego, welcome. STATEMENT OF THELLA BOWENS, DIRECTOR, SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Ms. Bowens. Good morning. I Thank you, Senator Boxer, for the opportunity to add my comments to this very important conversation on airport security. The tragic events of last year have caused all airports to recommence to the absolute need for expanding and improving aviation security programs, particularly ones that protect travelers from the kinds of threats experienced on September 11th. Since the passage of the Aviation Transportation Security Act and the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, we at San Diego International Airport have remained committed to assisting the TSA in implementing federally mandated security measures. Theirs is an enormous and difficult mission, made more so by the stringent time lines established by Congress, and TSA should be commended for those efforts. Our challenge at San Diego International has been how best to handle the installation of new security equipment and processes in a highly constrained facility while ensuring the airport continues to deliver the highest quality level of customer service and thereby support the good health of the industry. Security checkpoint lines are longer now than before 9-11, certainly, but they are managed carefully and moving efficiently. To date, passenger wait times have continued to decrease--we are at less than 20 minutes average in our facility--as travelers become familiar with new requirements and plan accordingly. In September/October of this year, we will experience the installation of additional checkpoint equipment, improved personnel training, and new streamlined procedures. We will know then if our joint efforts are truly successful in achieving improved security checkpoint operations and continued convenient access to air travel services. We are in line to meet the November deadline for checkpoint screening. The challenge for providing for travelers' safety by screening 100 percent of checked baggage for explosive material by December 31st is another matter altogether. The requirement to install Explosive Detection Systems in the magnitude necessary to meet congressional screening requirements at an airport with the physical constraints of SDIA is truly overwhelming. Adding significantly to the difficulty and expense of such an enterprise is the ever- approaching December 31st deadline. Given the lack of availability of Explosive Detection Systems, EDS's, and the complexity of installing the equipment in existing baggage handling systems, which is the better approach to this installation, we do not expect to be able to accomplish this task in the near term. We are moving ahead to install the less effective and radically more disruptive Explosive Trace Detectors, ETD's, together with the EDS's that do become available, in the public areas of our terminals. This is the approach that has been adopted by the TSA as an interim measure to meet the requirements of the law as it is now written. The process that is currently underway at SDIA, again, with the total cooperation of TSA personnel, led by an exceptional Federal Security Director, Mike Aguilar, is to assess the numbers of explosive trace detection devices required and their appropriate locations. Working together, we have come to a very preliminary understanding of the number of ETD's required and, if they are installed in the manner recommended, their presence will seriously disrupt passenger circulation in already congested lobbies and concourses. Additionally, screening and property search processes using ETD's will generate long passenger waiting lines that will serve to further discourage air travel, not only at SDIA, but throughout an already troubled industry. More importantly, this approach will not provide the optimal level of increased safety and security for the traveler. Instead of the ``quick fix'' approach using ETD's, we at San Diego International join with other large hub airports in suggesting an alternative solution. It is our firm belief that an integrated and automated Explosive Detection System is the most optimal and only workable approach at SDIA. Rather than forcing airports into an interim solution to meet the statutory deadline, we recommend incrementally expanding baggage screening capabilities as facilities, staff, and machines become available. This will not result in a diminished level of protection,as we will be using the same means as today--canine detection, positive bag matching, hand searches, and other methods that are in place. This measured approach would provide the TSA more time to implement an optimal solution on an airport-by-airport basis. Such an approach avoids a large waste of investment in both equipment and manpower that would inevitably be replaced by a more integrated, efficient, and cost-effective system. As a separate but equally critical issue, I would like to touch on an area of airport security that has gone largely unaddressed. The need to protect cargo shipments, both cargo in the belly of passenger aircraft and cargo carried by air freighters, is one that we as an industry and the TSA should move forward with as a priority. Because of the nature of integrated cargo operations conducted at remote sites on the airport or off-airport ``through the fence,'' to use an industry term, this is an area of vulnerability directly linked to perimeter security, as well. I submit that improvements in this critical area can be made a priority while we phase in 100 hundred percent bag screening. Finally, I would like to invite the Committee's attention to the role of local law enforcement in providing the uniformed security presence at checkpoints and, eventually, throughout the airport. I believe the use of local police officers who are knowledgeable and trained in matters of aviation security, local law enforcement, and public safety is superior to having a Federal force at the airport. Experience shows me that there is no substitute for locally trained and certified police officers who know the airport and the region and are responsive to its people and its diverse cultures. We are using local police to increase law enforcement now, as is present at the ticket counter. I do urge you to support amending the current legislation to provide additional time for a more comprehensive approach to solving the passenger screening responsibility. As stated in the letter forwarded to the Senator and Secretary Mineta earlier this year, we are truly concerned that the proposed interim response to baggage screening designed to meet the December 31st deadline will result in a less than optimal approach to security, will create unacceptably long wait times to the traveling public, and will result in an unnecessary expensive solution. Thank you for the opportunity to speak, and I am pleased to answer any questions. Senator Boxer. Thank you. We will get into those in a bit. Mr. Acree, welcome. STATEMENT OF HARDY ACREE, DIRECTOR OF AIRPORTS, SACRAMENTO COUNTY AIRPORT SYSTEM Mr. Acree. Good morning, Senator Boxer. My name is Hardy Acree, Director of Airports for the Sacramento County Airport System. First, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Senator Boxer, for the invitation to be here today to speak on the very important issues of airport security. I applaud the Senator for your efforts with helping to get answers to some very important questions. My comments today are intended to be constructive and not overly critical of TSA. Heaven knows they have been given a huge task. I am here to share with you our concerns and, yes, a sense of frustration with how the process is working and in some cases not working. First, at the risk of sounding trite, on the subject of improved airport security, it is safe to say that while some progress has been made, it would be more accurate to say that much remains to be done. And as we approach the first anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th, the deadline for meeting certain security mandates looms ever closer. In Sacramento we have two concerns regarding security checkpoints: First, from a customer service perspective, we have seen our screening checkpoint queueing lines increase dramatically over the last 2 months. During peak times, the lines frequently stretch all the way to bag claim, causing excessive delays, with some passengers missing their flights. To compound the problem, our June passenger counts were the second highest on record with over 817,000 passengers traveling through the airport. We are one of only a handful of airports nationwide where passenger activity is exceeding last year's record levels. This is a trend we hope continues but which will only add to the challenges at the screening checkpoints. Second, from an operational perspective, as you said, it came as a shock for us to hear that Sacramento International ranked in the bottom 5 for airports with the worst test failure rate at the screening checkpoints. What happened that caused Sacramento International to go from an airport with one of the best screening compliance records to one of the worst since TSA took over? Or as Gordon Bethune might say, what happened that we went from first to worst? In an attempt to get answers, we recently met with representatives from TSA to discuss the issue. We were told that TSA is in the process of hiring and training the personnel needed to staff the screening checkpoints with Federal employees. From our perspective, the problems appear to be attributed to an absence of adequate supervision oversight and the lack of a customer service focus. Now that the Federal security director for Sacramento International is onsite, we trust these issues will get resolved in the near term. With regards to the checked bag screening requirements, TSA was given the monumental task of reinventing the entire U.S. transportation security system. For airport security, many in the industry consider the time given TSA to make the necessary changes to be adequate for some airports but inadequate for others. What we are discovering as we go through this very complex and people-intensive process is that one size does not fit all. What works in Sacramento may not work at LAX and vice versa. As I sit here today, I cannot tell you whether or not TSA will be successful in Sacramento and meet the December 31st deadline for 100 percent checked bag screening. What I can say, however, is that Sacramento is committed to doing everything in its power to make it happen. But until we see a definitive plan for how TSA intends to meet the requirement, it is impossible for me to say whether or not it can be done by December 31st. Needless to say, I am concerned. It is August the 8th, and I have yet to see such a plan. I am concerned because if their plan calls for the airport to make significant facility modifications to accommodate the installation of EDS and ETD machines, there is no way the airport can respond with any substantive construction contracts in 4 and 1/2 months. Both the airport and TSA may well need the flexibility of additional time, but I will not know until I see their plan. If, on the other hand, TSA comes in with a plan that calls for a similar ``plop and plug'' approach--that is technical terms--installing X number of EDS and ETD machines in our terminal lobby, then where are the passengers going to go? Our terminal lobby space is in limited supply to begin with and that concerns me. In that regard, customer service considerations must play a meaningful role in any implementation plan, regardless of which technology, solution, or combination thereof is proposed. The airport system cannot approve a plan that does not give adequate consideration to the customer. Lest we forget, it is the customer who is the source of all our revenues, and it is imperative that we not lose sight of that. I hope you can see my concerns. Time is growing short, and TSA lacks the sheer number of personnel who are properly trained to operate the screening checkpoints. And we have yet to see a plan for meeting the December 31st deadline. In closing, we all share the same goal; that of having an airport security system that instills confidence in the traveling public and restores credibility in a security system that for too long has been neglected. Again, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak before you today. Senator Boxer. Thank you, sir, for your candor. And now it is my pleasure to call on Mr. David Stone of the Los Angeles International Airport. And he is the head, the Federal head, of that airport. In other words, since we have decided that the Federal Government will be responsible for security, we have called in his good people, and this is his challenge. He is going to be speaking on behalf of the TSA folks that are here. STATEMENT OF ADMIRAL DAVID M. STONE (RETIRED), FEDERAL SECURITY DIRECTOR, LAX INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION; ACCOMPANIED BY ED GOMEZ, FEDERAL SECURITY DIRECTOR, SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT; AND GENERAL MIKE AGUILAR, FEDERAL SECURITY DIRECTOR, SAN DIEGO AIRPORT Admiral Stone. Good morning, Madam Chairwoman. It is a pleasure to appear before you today to discuss airport security at Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and San Diego International Airport. I am David Stone, the Federal Security Director here at LAX. With me this morning are Ed Gomez, the Federal Security Director at San Francisco, and Mike Aguilar, the Federal Security Director at San Diego. We are all pleased to represent Admiral James Loy, the Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Security. I thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the challenges we face in California in ensuring the highest standard of aviation security. I have a short opening statement to give, and then we will be available to answer your questions. I have submitted a statement for the record. By way of introduction, Ed Gomez is a retired chief of the California Highway Patrol, Mike Aguilar recently retired as a Brigadier General in the United States Marine Corps, and I recently retired as a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. Ed Gomez took up his post in San Francisco at the end of May, Mike Aguilar arrived in San Diego on April 1st, and I arrived here at LAX on July 15th. I would also like to mention that TSA has selected Federal security directors for several other airports in California. We now have FSDs in place at 9 of the 12 California airports that will have FSDs. The FSDs at the other three sites are in various stages of the selection process. As Federal security directors, we will fill a crucial role in aviation security by providing a clear line of authority for security at our Nation's airports. We report to Michael Robinson, the Associate Under Secretary for Aviation Operations. We provide day-to-day operational leadership for the Federal security responsibilities at our assigned airports. The FSD is the ranking TSA authority responsible for the leadership and the coordination of TSA security activities within the airport, including planning, execution, and management of coordinated security services. The FSD has three primary responsibilities: First, screening operations for passengers and their carry-on property, as well as all checked baggage and cargo that will be carried on passenger flights. Law enforcement: We serve as the aviation security liaison to local intelligence and law enforcement communities. We receive, assess, distribute, and ensure that we effectively use intelligence and law enforcement information. We also coordinate and implement security countermeasures with appropriate departments and law enforcement agencies, airports, and air carriers. And third, regulatory: We are responsible for ensuring compliance with TSA aviation security regulations. The FSD is responsible for securing airports and air carriers. If a particular security threat to a gate, concourse, terminal, airport, or related facility cannot be addressed in a way adequate to ensure the safety of passengers, crew, or other individuals, the FSD may clear, close, or otherwise secure the affected facilities. Similarly, if a security threat to a flight or series of flights cannot be addressed in a way adequate to ensure the safety of passengers and crew, the FSD will have the authority to cancel a flight or series of flights, delay a flight or series of flights, or return flights to an airport after departure, divert such flights, or otherwise appropriately handle these critical situations. These are important responsibilities that we take seriously. In consultation with TSA managers, the FSD provides for training, supervision, and equipment for the screener work force and Federal TSA law enforcement officers. Furthermore, the FSD will ensure that screeners meet and maintain eligibility for employment and that law enforcement officers are properly deployed at screening locations. `This will result in our supervision of large numbers of new Federal employees at Los Angeles International and San Diego Airport. The exact numbers are now under assessment. Ed Gomez will have the responsibilities that Mike Aguilar and I have without direct screener oversight. As provided for under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, San Francisco is one of 5 airports in the country selected for a contract screening pilot program. San Francisco is the only California airport that is participating in this program. Instead of screeners who are Federal employees of TSA, at San Francisco the screeners will operate under a contract awarded by TSA. The contract screeners must have the same qualifications as TSA screeners and must follow the same training requirements. They are entitled to receive the same pay and benefits as TSA screeners. This contracting process has just begun. TSA expects to award a contract in early October. We expect to have a strong law enforcement presence. TSA is responsible for enforcing Federal laws and regulations with respect to aviation security at security screening checkpoints, in the secure areas of the airport, and at perimeter areas. In some airports, we will provide TSA law enforcement officers; at other airports, we are contracting with State or local law enforcement agencies to assist in the passenger checkpoint enforcement work. Additionally, our Federal air marshals will provide on-board security on high-risk flights. Madam Chairwoman, we are all well aware of the tragedy that occurred at this airport on July 4th. The fact that the gunman does not appear to have been part of an organized terrorist plot is of little solace to the innocent victims. In the wake of this incident, we understand the call for additional support from TSA to provide security in the public concourse areas of the airport terminals. TSA has a five-pronged approach to this issue. First, TSA's own law enforcement officers or State and local LEOs working under contract to TSA will chiefly staff the secure areas of airports, and our Federal air marshals will serve on board commercial aircraft. Second, TSA does have an important, broader responsibility: to coordinate and approve the overall security plan for all commercial airports. To do so, the FSD at each airport will work closely with State, local, and airport law enforcement officers and the airport management team and other Federal agencies operating at commercial airports. All of us here today are pledged to do this. Third, law enforcement--local law enforcement will continue to have responsibility for enforcement in the public areas of the airport and will coordinate with TSA on the overall security plan. Fourth, our limited use of TSA's law enforcement officers outside of the immediate areas associated with screening will be primarily to assess and make recommendations for security improvements. This is consistent with the ATSA, the authorizing legislation that Congress passed. Of course, if there is an incident where it is appropriate to assist local law enforcement officers, we certainly will do so to the extent possible. Finally, we are already partnering successfully with State, local and airport law enforcement authorities nationwide. These officers are assisting TSA in meeting our statutory responsibilities at the passenger screening checkpoints. TSA is seeking to clarify its authority to extend these partnerships beyond November 19th of this year. I would like to briefly discuss the plans to Federalize our three airports to meet the two critical statutory deadlines. The first is to require the screening of all passengers with Federal screeners, with the exception of the contracting screening pilot program in San Francisco, by November 19th, 2002. The second is to ensure that all checked baggage is screened for explosives by December 31st, 2002. As you can imagine, this is an extraordinary challenge to meet at 429 airports throughout the country. Our headquarters is working closely with our major contractors that are assisting us in this effort. Contractors are onsite, and airport assessments have begun in order to meet the statutory deadlines. However, as you recently heard from Secretary Mineta, the amount of money available to TSA this year has necessitated a reassessment of its rollout strategy. Naturally, our headquarters in Washington, DC will keep the Committee informed of the results of this reassessment. In keeping with our mandate from Admiral Loy, all FSDs pledge to have open lines of communication with airport operators, air carriers, and other airport stakeholders, Members of Congress, local officials, State and local law enforcement officials and their agencies, and the many Federal, State, and local agencies with whom we must work cooperatively. Mike Aguilar, Ed Gomez, all of the other FSDs in California, and I will continue to work hard on this in the coming weeks and months. The three of us have already begun this effort, and we appreciate the support and cooperation from our airport partners. Madam Chairwoman, all of us on this panel, and indeed, all TSA employees throughout the country, are keenly aware of the tragic link between California and the terrorist attack on our Nation on September 11. We know that all four planes that were hijacked by the terrorists were bound for California--three of those flights were destined for LAX; the fourth was bound for San Francisco. Many California residents perished on that day. Our goal is to ensure a level of security at our airports here in California, and everywhere in our great Nation, so that a tragedy like September 11 never happens again. We all welcome your support and that of all Californians. Mike Aguilar, Ed Gomez, and I will be pleased to answer your questions. [The prepared statement of Admiral Stone follows:] Prepared Statement of Admiral David M. Stone (retired), Federal Security Director, LAX International Airport, Transportation Security Administration; accompanied by Ed Gomez, Federal Security Director, San Francisco Airport; and General Mike Aguilar, Federal Security Director, San Diego Airport Good morning Madame Chairwoman. It is a pleasure to appear before you today to discuss airport security at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and San Diego International Airport (SAN). I am David Stone and I am the newly arrived Federal Security Director here at LAX. With me this morning are Ed Gomez the Federal Security Director at SFO and Mike Aguilar the Federal Security Director (FSD) at SAN. Mike is the senior member of our group having arrived at SAN at the end of March of this year. We are all pleased to represent ADM James Loy the Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Security. I thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the challenges we face in California in ensuring the highest standard of aviation security. I would like to take a few moments to briefly introduce us to you. Ed Gomez is a retired Chief of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) with over 13 years experience as a member of their top management executive team. He headed a division with over 1,400 CHP employees. As part of his 33-year long career in law enforcement Ed has coordinated law enforcement resources during numerous special events and disasters such as the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the devastating Northridge Earthquake. Ed is a member of the F.B.I. National Executive Institute and has attend the United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection Course. Ed has a Master's degree in Public Administration. Mike Aguilar recently retired as a Brigadier General in the United States Marine Corps. During a distinguished 30-year career in the Marines Mike served in a number of key assignments including the Commanding General Fleet Marine Forces South and the Deputy Commander U.S. Marine Forces South. Mike served in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM and has flown helicopters for many years logging thousands of hours of accident free flights. Mike holds a Master's Degree in Strategic Studies and National Security Affairs. I retired as a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. My last assignment was as Director Environmental Protection Occupational Health and Safety in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. I previously served as the Commander of the Nimitz Battle Group where I was responsible for organizing training and deploying over 5,000 sailors. I also commanded the United States Middle East Force in Manama Bahrain and served as the first United States Flag Officer to command NATO's Maritime Immediate Reaction Force ``The Standing Naval Force Mediterranean.'' I graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and hold a Masters' degree in National Security Affairs from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. I also earned a Masters Degree in Management from Salve Regina College. I would also like to mention that TSA has selected FSDs for several other airports in California. We now have FSDs in place at 9 of the 12 California airports that will have FSDs. The FSDs at the other three sites are in various stages of the selection process. I believe that we bring a wealth of experience talent and commitment to this important position. As Federal Security Directors we will fill a crucial role in aviation security by providing a clear line of authority for security at our nation's airports. We report to Michael Robinson the Associate Under Secretary for Aviation Operations. We provide day-to-day operational leadership for the federal security responsibilities at our assigned airports. The FSD is the ranking TSA authority responsible for the leadership and coordination of TSA security activities within the airport including the planning execution and management of coordinated security services. The FSD has three primary responsibilities: (1) screening operations for passengers and their carry-on property all checked baggage and cargo that will be carried on passenger flights; (2) law enforcement: serving as the aviation security liaison to local intelligence and law enforcement communities. The FSD receives assesses distributes and ensures the utilization of intelligence and law enforcement information as appropriate. We also coordinate and implement security countermeasures with appropriate departments and law enforcement agencies airports and air carriers; and (3) regulatory: responsible for ensuring compliance with TSA aviation security regulations. The FSD is responsible for securing airports and air carriers. If a particular security threat to a gate concourse terminal airport or related facility cannot be addressed in a way adequate to ensure the safety of passengers crew or other individuals the FSD may clear close or otherwise secure the affected facilities. Similarly if a security threat to a flight or series of flights cannot be addressed in a way adequate to ensure the safety of passengers and crew the FSD will have the authority to cancel a flight or series of flights delay a flight or series of flights or return flights to an airport after departure divert such flights or otherwise appropriately handle these critical situations. In consultation with appropriate TSA managers the FSD provides for appropriate training supervision and equipment for the screener workforce and Federal TSA Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs). Furthermore the FSD will ensure that screeners meet and maintain eligibility for employment and that LEO's are deployed at screening locations in accordance with applicable statutory standards. This will result in my supervision of approximately 1,850 passenger and baggage screeners at LAX. Mike Aguilar will oversee over 650 screeners at SAN. Ed Gomez will have the responsibilities that Mike Aguilar and I have without direct screener oversight. This is because San Francisco will operate in a different setting. As provided for under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act San Francisco was one of five airports in the country selected for a contract screening pilot program. San Francisco is the only California airport that is participating in this program. Instead of screeners who are federal employees of TSA the estimated 1,000 contract screeners at San Francisco will operate under a contract awarded by TSA. The contract screeners must have the same qualifications as TSA screeners and must adhere to the same training requirements and they will be entitled to receive the same pay and benefits as TSA screeners. This contracting process has just begun and TSA has issued a Synopsis of the procurement. TSA expects to award a contract in early October. The contract may be awarded to individual contractors or in one bundle depending on how the offers are evaluated to determine how the best interests of the Government may be met. We expect to have a strong law enforcement presence in place. TSA will be responsible for enforcing Federal laws and regulations with respect to aviation security at security screening checkpoints in the secure areas of the airport and at perimeter areas. In some airports we will provide TSA employees as Law Enforcement Officers; at other airports we are contracting with state or local law enforcement agencies to assist in the passenger checkpoint enforcement work. Additionally our Federal Air Marshals will provide on-board security on high-risk flights. Madame Chairwoman we are all well aware of the tragedy that occurred at this airport on July 4. The fact that the gunman does not appear to have been part of an organized terrorist plot is of little solace to the innocent victims. In the wake of this incident we understand the call for additional support from TSA to provide screening in the public concourse areas of the airport terminals. TSA has a five-pronged approach to this issue.
First TSA's own Law Enforcement Officers or LEOs working under contract to TSA will chiefly staff the secure areas of airports and our Federal Air Marshals will serve on board commercial aircraft. Second TSA does have an important broader responsibility: to coordinate and approve the overall security plan for all commercial airports. To do so the Federal Security Director at each airport will work closely with State local and airport law enforcement officers and the airport management team and other federal agencies operating at commercial airports. All of us here today are pledged to do this. Third local law enforcement will continue to have responsibility for enforcement in the public areas of the airport and will coordinate with TSA on the overall security plan. Fourth our limited use of TSA's law enforcement officers outside of the immediate areas associated with screening will be primarily to assess and make recommendations for security improvements. This is consistent with ATSA the authorizing legislation that Congress passed. Of course if there is an incident where it is appropriate to assist local law enforcement officers we certainly will do so to the extent possible. Finally we are already partnering successfully with State local and airport law enforcement authorities nationwide. These officers are assisting TSA in meeting our statutory responsibilities at the passenger-screening checkpoints. TSA is seeking to clarify its authority to extend these partnerships beyond November 19 of this year. I would like to briefly discuss the plans to federalize our three airports to meet the two critical statutory deadlines. The first is to require the screening of all passengers with Federal screeners (with the exception of the contracting screening pilot program at San Francisco and four other airports) by November 19, 2002. The second is to ensure that all checked baggage is screened for explosives by December 31, 2002. As you can imagine this is an extraordinary challenge to meet at 429 airports throughout the country. Our Headquarters is working closely with our major contractors that are assisting us in this effort. Contractors are on site and airport assessments have begun in order to meet the statutory deadlines. However as you recently heard from Secretary Mineta the amount of money available to TSA this year has necessitated a reassessment of its rollout strategy. Naturally our Headquarters in Washington DC will keep the Committee informed of the results of this reassessment. In keeping with our mandate from ADM Loy all FSDs pledge to have open lines of communication with airport operators air carriers and other airport stakeholders Members of Congress local officials state and local law enforcement officials and their agencies and the many federal state and local agencies with whom we must work cooperatively. Mike Aguilar Ed Gomez all of the other FSDs in California and I will work hard on this in the coming weeks and months. Madame Chairwoman all of us on this panel and indeed all TSA employees throughout the country are keenly aware of the tragic link between California and the terrorist attack on our Nation on September 11. We know that all four planes that were hijacked by the terrorists were bound for California--three of those flights were destined for LAX the fourth was bound for San Francisco. Many California residents perished on that day. Our goal is to ensure a level of security at our airports here in California and everywhere in our great Nation so that a tragedy like September 11 never happens again. We all welcome your support and that of all Californians. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you and share the challenges that the Federal Security Directors in California face today and for your continuing support of the Transportation Security Administration. Mike Aguilar Ed Gomez and I will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Senator Boxer. Thank you so much. I am going to skip around here because there are a few issues I want to dig a little bit deeper into. I guess, Mr. Martin, your comments that if you put these other machines in as an interim solution, you will have a lot of lines, you are going to expose the public to more security problems, I have a problem with that. I think it is an excuse. Let me say why: If we have adequate security in the lobbies, in the ticket counters, that is going to be a prevention, number one. Number two--and this goes to Ms. Bowens' and Mr. Martin's remarks, I think, more than the others--you keep stressing ``customer friendly.'' This is important, and to some degree, Mr. Acree said that we have got to make sure people move through and so on and so forth. I just want you to respond to this, and maybe it is just a disagreement we have. But I fly. I am flying more than I am standing still. And I have talked to people, and I have talked to employees and passengers and so on and so forth. My concentration on this safety issue, which has been, I have to admit, exceedingly focused and making people uncomfortable, which I am going to do today to you, which I apologize for, but it is just the only way I can get to the bottom of things, is because I believe in my heart if there is just one more incident like the one--the several we had on September 11th, that the blow to the airline industry, the blow to airport travel, will be so extraordinary that it will make your comments, in retrospect, just seem completely out of touch with reality. Oh, my God, people are waiting an extra 15 minutes. People aren't thrilled to do this, but aren't there other ways to deal with it other than slipping a deadline? And it is like ``The dog ate my homework.'' We had a year and a half knowing this was coming. LAX is going to meet the deadline in terms of the bomb detection. I appreciate that very much. But, you know, who is to say in another year, ``Oh, my goodness, we can't, we won't, we can't.'' There are other ways to address the issue of customer satisfaction, and one might be a trusted traveler program. Now, I, myself, have been patted down and pulled aside at least 15 to 20 times because I travel so much. In fact, on the one hand, it is a great signal to everybody that no one is getting a free ride here, but on the other hand, it is a bit of a waste of time to have three people on a United States Senator who is five feet tall and a grandma, and is not such a threatening profile. So if people are willing to give up some of their privacy, like if I agree, OK, I will give up some of my privacy, I will do some genetic--let some machine test my iris in my eye or my fingerprint or whatever, and I am willing to go into such a program, and let us just say a third of the traveling public is willing to go into such a program and maybe even more--granted, it is a voluntary thing. They give up their privacy. If they do not want to do it, fine. Now you have got a third of the people you can treat a little differently, relieving this issue that you all talk about at the airports--which I understand your angst when you see long lines--but wouldn't that be a better way to go other than saying, well, we cannot put a trace machine in the lobby because it will be crowded in the lobby? I am just trying to get your sense of it. Mr. Stone, I do not know where TSA comes down on the trusted traveler program. Can you give me a little insight into what you know about the thinking, if you know where Admiral Loy is coming from? Admiral Stone. Yes. It is my understanding that Admiral Loy is open to that idea. Senator Boxer. Good. Admiral Stone. Recently, TSA sent a credentials program representative to see me yesterday to talk about how we might use these type technologies in the Department of Transportation Identification Card. So there is a lot of creative thinking about how we might use new technologies along those lines, and we are also open to new ideas such as moving the gate screening cord and combining it with the checkpoint. And so we have a test program here that TSA is sponsoring to change, to look at new ideas, to look at new technologies. Senator Boxer. Well, I am very happy to hear that, Mr. Stone, because the prior folks were fairly close, but I think Admiral Loy--and I met with him, and I am very impressed. And if you could take a message back to him, and of course I will call him myself, that this is something I think would be important. So perhaps the airport folks could respond to how they feel about this trusted traveler type of program, and if you would view that as a possible way to go to relieve the kind of congestion that you are concerned about. We will not get into the machines right now, just go to the trusted traveler. Mr. Acree. I would agree with the Senator's comments. I think the airport industry is on record as supporting a trusted traveler concept. If we are looking for a needle in a haystack, the first thing we should be doing is decreasing the size of the haystack, and I think the trusted traveler program does that. Senator Boxer. Ms. Bowens, do you have feelings on that? Ms. Bowens. I would agree that the trusted traveler program as well as any other innovations that we could bring on board would help. At this point, none of that has been discussed with us. We have not even been--long before the TSA came in, we investigated the availability of this explosive detection equipment just to purchase on our own. It was not available for us in terms of the numbers of the pieces of the equipment that we would have to have. So we are in favor of any kind of technology that the FAA or the TSA would approve that would help expedite these lines, but right now, that is not available to us. We have to deal with what's handed to us today. Senator Boxer. I understand. I understand. But that is the purpose of this hearing, to make it better, to keep the focus on. Because what you are basically saying is, you are being told you need to install these machines, and you do not see any relief at the ticket counter. And you are concerned that that is going to make a very crowded, unpleasant experience for folks, and you want to put off doing the interim measures. I understand that. Mr. Martin? Mr. Martin. San Francisco very much favors further exploration of trusted traveler programs. We think that they can benefit the aviation industry greatly, both in customer service but also in aviation safety. Great benefits potentially are there. Only 10 percent of our passengers, who are frequent fliers account for over 50 percent of our trips. So you can well imagine the benefits from a trusted traveler program. Senator Boxer. Absolutely. It is huge. Mr. Green, would you also favor a trusted traveler type of program? Mr. Green. I do favor that. I think concepts like trusted traveler and I think increased use of technology going forward is really going to be the solution, long term, to resolving these service issues for the industry, particularly when it gets back into a growth mode. Projecting what you are doing today without technology and concepts like this in the future is a little worrisome, so I really would endorse it. Senator Boxer. Mr. Gomez or Mr. Aguilar, do you have any comments on this idea of pursuing this at the TSA, developing some--perhaps one or two or three systems that you have faith in, or perhaps one system that could be a centralized system? So again, we understand, some of them, in fact, may want to be in the program, they are giving up certain privacy, and that is something an individual has to determine. But I know most of the folks I know who are traveling constantly would really welcome that. Do you think it is a good thing to pursue? Mr. Gomez. Good morning, Senator. Ed Gomez from San Francisco. I am pleased to be here and address these serious issues. I think one of the points that I want to make is that we all want the same thing. We want people to be able to travel and have a sense of security and confidence in the airports and other modes of transportation. And I think that some of the ideas that are being put forth today, whether we're talking about training people and/or baggage, I think that it is still a process of evolution. As we speak, there are teams of consultants in all of our airports and hundreds of airports across the country looking at the individual uniqueness of each airport in terms of processing people and bags. So I like your ideas about, let us look at things in different ways to try to get people through but not sacrifice the quality of security. And I do believe that identification of people and trying to say that you, as Senator, should not be searched six times versus a frequent flier that would have a record of travel and a stability, that TSA would be able to perhaps look at having them be processed in a different way. So we are open to different suggestions without, again, trying to diminish in any way the level of security at the airport. Senator Boxer. Mr. Aguilar? Mr. Aguilar. Madam Chairwoman, again, thank you for the invitation and opportunity to speak. I agree with you 100 percent in that there is a threat, there is a sense of urgency, and we have to take the technology that we have now to address that threat. I am pleased to say that TSA is very open to looking at new technology, emerging technology. We are familiar with the legislation which you have introduced, and I know Admiral Loy is very receptive to that. I would just add probably that with this emerging technology, I believe TSA would like to have the latitude to be able to assess that technology before making a final decision, but we are in complete support of contributing to the customer service without compromising our security requirements. Senator Boxer. I think it goes to what Mr. Acree mentioned when he said that you are looking for a needle in a haystack, the bad one. And if you have a smaller universe, you are going to clearly have a better chance. So I guess now I have two messages from me to you which I will deliver to Admiral Loy myself, one of course, is not to let these deadlines slip, and of course, we have disagreement here. I thought the House bill was completely a step back for us in terms of delaying the date because, again, the same reasons you are giving now, excuses, problems, explanations as to why it is difficult, are not going to really change. I want to go to the issue of the interim check for bombs, bomb detection. Mr. Green, if you were to say one reason why you are successful in getting these machines installed, what would it be? Were you just ahead of it? Were you just earlier than---- Mr. Green. Well, I think probably the short answer is we got a jump start on it. After September 11, we had the same concerns that all airports have and have been expressed here this morning. But absent a mandate that says we are going to do something later than December the 31st, our view was, earlier this year, that we really need to get focused on meeting that. So we brought a team, actually brought four consultants in, to look at, not only passenger processing, but perimeter cargo and all the other issues that we talked about. And we did that early, and we did a lot of comprehensive analysis and modeling, analyzing the equipment. Senator Boxer. You mean right after September 11? Mr. Green. This was, like, spring of this year. It was not last year but this year. But for several months, we have been engaged in that. And I think when the TSA came in and got serious about establishing some protocol and some procedures for our airport, we were fortunate enough to have done a lot of work that has sort of come together at the right time. And I think that put us in a position of not being delayed, and that is why I think--given the work that our consultants did, and I think it is shared by Admiral Stone--we are optimistic that, if we have the equipment and the people in place, then we can comply. But I guess the short answer really was we got started early. Senator Boxer. Right. I think that is an important point, and I think there is a lesson here. I mean, we cannot wait. Anyone who wants to get us is thinking every minute, is planning every minute, is getting ready every minute. And we are sitting back and saying, gee, this is hard; gee, we cannot do it. I just do not accept it, and I just want to push a little harder on the point. In terms of the interim solution that none of you--well, Mr. Acree, you have a different issue. Your problem is you just now got somebody in place from the TSA who is a permanent person. Is that correct? Mr. Acree. Just this week, he was onsite. Senator Boxer. At this point, you have no plan in place even? Mr. Acree. Correct. Senator Boxer. So I hope, Mr. Stone, that you can take that back because you are here representing TSA. They've been disadvantaged because they are so late in getting someone on board, and they are a growing passenger airport. They need to have some attention paid over there. That's why I have different airports here because I think sometimes we get lost in the shuffle when we do not have the huge international airports. Is yours called an international airport? Mr. Acree. We are an international airport. Senator Boxer. Smaller international airports, they do not get the attention. So we need immediate attention. They had a 41 percent failure rate---- Mr. Acree. Yes, ma'am. Senator Boxer.--at the screening. I mean, that is outrageous. The acting Federal person, the acting head, did not know anything about it. They need attention. So that is a message. Sacramento needs attention. They have good people. He is a very good man, and they just need some direction of what they are going to do. But in terms of this interim--what do you call the machines that would be the interim? The trace detection machines, right? Here's a question that I have for you, Mr. Martin: You are concerned that they are going to be put in the middle of the lobby and be a mess. Why is it that we have to have the passenger there with the bag---- Mr. Martin. Why is it that we have to have a passenger with the bag? Senator Boxer.--that's going to be checked? Mr. Martin. Because there is a particularly high rate of false alarms with the trace detecting equipment, and the passenger needs to be there with the bag when the screening agent opens the bag. Senator Boxer. When it is done with the trace detection as opposed to the others? Mr. Martin. Right. The EDS equipment did not result in nearly as high of a false alarm rate. Senator Boxer. What is the false alarm rate? Mr. Martin. When there is a positive read, the bag and its contents need to be investigated further. The EDS also has---- Senator Boxer. I said, what is the rate? What is the percentage failure? Out of the 10 that--if they find 10 traces, how many would be wrong? Mr. Martin. More than 30 percent of the total bags produce false reads. Overall, the EDT equipment---- Senator Boxer. Wait. Then I am still confused. If you are doing bomb sniffing, where is that done? Mr. Martin. It is done throughout the terminal building. Senator Boxer. So the passenger is not there with the bomb sniffing, right? Mr. Martin. Sometimes there are passengers; sometimes there aren't. Senator Boxer. If the problem is--and let me just take this to Mr. Stone--if the problem is, in terms of the movement, that there are all these passengers around, I just want to ask you this question. If you had a false positive with a dog sniffing situation, you would do a hand search. The passenger does not necessarily have to be there, right? I mean, my question is, why does the passenger have to be there when you do the trace, even with a third of the problems? Admiral Stone. I would like to ask Mike Aguilar to describe that. Senator Boxer. OK. Mike? Mr. Aguilar. Yes, ma'am. The passenger is not required to be there. However, I think most airports, just out of respect for privacy for the passenger, just does allow them to accompany their baggage. But as far as an absolute requirement for the individual to be there, that is really, again, in respect for their privacy, if they wanted to accompany their bag. As far as the false alarm rate only, you are absolutely right---- Senator Boxer. Wait a minute. When you check your bag in and it goes through a different check, you are not there with the bag. What's the privacy problem? I mean, in other words, when you are packing a bag, you know it is going to be checked. So already you are making a decision. If you do not want to pack that special thing, do not pack that special thing, whatever it may be. But the point is, we all know we have to check bags. I mean, what I hear, if that is the reason--is that the reason is privacy concerns? Mr. Martin. Privacy concerns and specifically I do not know of a single U.S. airline or foreign airline that allows a bag to be opened without the passenger being present. So in our international terminal where we have an in-line bag system, four or five passengers a day are called down to the bag screening room for the bag to be opened. Senator Boxer. So in other words, when you do the hand searches, the passenger is always there? Mr. Martin. Yes. Senator Boxer. So if the dog sniffs something and there has to be a hand search, you go find the passenger? Mr. Martin. That's right. Senator Boxer. How do you do that? Page them? What do you do? Mr. Martin. We page them or we contact the airline. We primarily work through the airlines in contacting passengers. Senator Boxer. And if it is an EDS? Mr. Martin. The EDS does not produce the high false alarm rate. They are also more than twice as effective in identifying if there is an explosive device. Senator Boxer. Now, what happens if the machines that we all want, the big machines, find something that is questionable? Do you then call the passenger before you open that bag too? Mr. Martin. We contact the airline, the airline brings the passenger down to the screening room. Senator Boxer. All right. So you bring the passenger down. So why do not you bring the passenger down with the other, with the trace---- Mr. Martin. We'd have to bring 30 percent of the passengers down with the trace detection equipment given the false reads, and there is no way that the industry could handle that. Senator Boxer. Do you agree that there is a 30 percent failure rate? Admiral Stone. No, I do not. That's not the figures that I would be---- Senator Boxer. What are your rates? Admiral Stone. I can only brief qualitatively that the error rate is such that it will not cause the significant backups that were mentioned here. Senator Boxer. So we have a disagreement on the failure rates. How do you base your numbers, Mr. Martin? Where do you get your figures? Mr. Martin. My figures are from a Reason Foundation report. Senator Boxer. A what? I am sorry. Mr. Martin. A Reason Foundation---- Senator Boxer. ``Reason.'' Mr. Martin. ``Reason.'' Senator Boxer. Who are they? Mr. Martin. It is a foundation based in Southern California. Senator Boxer. What do they do? Mr. Martin. They are very active on a number of issues, commenting on privatization and, commenting on a number of issues related to aviation---- Senator Boxer. Are they scientists or are they---- Mr. Martin. I am sorry. I cannot tell you further background. [Committee discussion off the record.] Senator Boxer. Well, from what I understand, it is a group that is trying to privatize airport security. They have another agenda. So I would just say---- Ms. Bowens, you want to support Mr. Martin there, what he's saying? Ms. Bowens. I have the same information that he has. Senator Boxer. From the Reason Foundation? Ms. Bowens. We actually had the Reason Foundation work. And just reading in general industry information on the ETD, that is the number that just continues to pop up, is 30 percent. Senator Boxer. But TSA does not agree. Ms. Bowens. They do not have a number. They did not give a number. Senator Boxer. Mr. Stone, would you repeat what your information is. Admiral Stone. I said I had qualitative assessments that that rate that was mentioned by that study is too high and that, in fact, will not cause the type of backlog that was mentioned. Senator Boxer. Mr. Gomez? Mr. Gomez. Senator, I think we all acknowledge that EDS has a higher reliability rate than the trace detection machines, but I totally agree with your point that time is an issue here. And I think that in-line systems really are certainly faster, will inconvenience the passengers less, but more expensive. It is going to take a lot more time. And all of us--certainly Congress has given us a deadline to meet, by the end of the year. So I think that with the help of the consultants that are on board right now, they are going to work with each airport. And as you know, flying around the country, each airport is very unique, very different given the circumstances of where it is and the environment that--these machines will still allow us to find a lot of material that could be very hazardous to the people and the airplanes and that. We are going to use these hybrid systems again, even though they are not going to be on-line, and the other machines that would be better, will be forthcoming. But we cannot delay, and I think these machines still--we must move forward with that to meet the mandate of Congress. Senator Boxer. You oversee San Francisco? Mr. Gomez. Yes, ma'am. Senator Boxer. So you and Mr. Martin have a little disagreement here. Mr. Gomez. We have talked about this a lot, and let me tell you this: San Francisco has done a marvelous job of being proactive, much like Los Angeles is, that because of their proactive nature they immediately started to change the conveyer systems and that. We are very proud to say, by the end of the year at international terminals, all bags going out of the country will be screened for explosives on an in-line system. But we do not have the time, we do not have the money, we do not always have the wherewithal to do that with domestic. But I suggest we cannot delay, and John and I have discussed this a lot. And like you said already, Senator, that time is an issue, and I think the citizens trust us to get this in line and in place as soon as possible. Senator Boxer. Well, I would suggest that--I am going to do a little research on this foundation. I think they have another agenda. And I would like to have, Mr. Stone, if you could take a message back to TSA, what I consider to be more science-based study of the failure rate. But be that as it may, the bottom line is if you do not do this, you are going to have some bags that are going to get through. Because the bag match, we all know that does not protect us against a bomb. So I would say to TSA--and again, I have my friends whom I love who do not agree with me here who are going to push for change in the law. I am going to fight against changing the law. So I would move as if the law would not be changed. Because you'll be back here next year and you'll ask me the same thing. Because the problems you are describing are not going to get away that easily. So you might as well just face it, just like we had to face that we had to send our troops to Afghanistan. No one wanted to go. It was a horror. It was a nightmare. We did not know what we were going to face. We did it and we did it well and we did it right, and we continue to have to be there and make sure we finish the job right and make sure there is stability there. Think about that challenge compared to your challenge of testing a bag that is lying in front of your feet. Now, there may be people who will give you permission. If you asked me when I am checking in, me--here's my bag, I am checking it in, and if the person at the counter says to me, we want to check your bag for bombs, but we do not have an EDS yet; as an interim we have got this trace detection machine. Here's an option: You can go to the gate, relax, get on your plane, or you can stand by your bag. Give people a choice. Perhaps half of them or more will say, fine, as long as it makes it onto my plane. Some of them will not want to leave their bag, they will go. I think there is some innovative ways you can deal with the public. The public is more forgiving than you seem to think in your testimony. You are going to have a few people who are annoyed that they are slowed up, but most people want to get there safely. I mean, 99.9 percent, is my feeling. And if they know there is a little bit of an inconvenience, so be it. Mr. Green, you did not mention in your opening the failure rate at the screening that was discovered by the Federal Government when they tested. Mr. Green. The 41 percent? Senator Boxer. Yes. The 40 or whatever, 40 or 41 percent failure rate. Could you discuss what's been done at your airport to improve that situation? Mr. Green. Well, we were certainly concerned to get those numbers. And the thing we needed quickly was to get an FSD in here, and, of course, Admiral Stone is here. I think the combination of supervisory attention at these checkpoints, when they begin to get better trained people in here, raise the standards, manage the operation a little more effectively than perhaps it has been over the past few years. I think we are very confident we will not have a problem here in LA, but that was a little disconcerting. It was a small sample size, but once was too many and it was bothersome. Senator Boxer. Mr. Stone, having come on board with that problem, you came right after that, what did you do? Without giving away any secrets, did you take that as one of your first responsibilities, to get that down to zero? Admiral Stone. Exactly. That caused me significant concern when I saw that, and I think the first thing as a leader is to bring the urgency for change. We cannot live with that type of performance. Even though we are Federalizing in an October timeframe, between now and October is a long time in terms of the current threat. So an urgency for change, which I conveyed when I got to the airport to the screening managers, was the first step. Senator Boxer. And the screening managers are Federal employees at LAX? Admiral Stone. These are contractors that gathered at the airport. When I arrived, I asked to meet with them and talk with them. Senator Boxer. They are contractors. Will they become Federal employees? Will that all be changing? Admiral Stone. That will be part of the Federalization process as we assess through NCS Pearson. And that process is starting at the assessment center to see which of our current employees meet the standards, and then we are very keen to retain all those that do. Senator Boxer. But now, have you tested again, in your way, some spot checks? Do you spot check? Admiral Stone. The TSA does. Senator Boxer. That is what I mean. Admiral Stone. I have not since I have been here. After the promulgation of the standard operating procedures by TSA and provided to the contractors as the standard to which to measure, both--the contractor does their own self-assessment, and TSA has sent out people to test and provide feedback to the contractors on corrective actions that need to be taken. The contractors were then required to provide a plan of action to correct any mid- to long-term deficiencies, but to do on the spot corrections at the time of the test. So that program is in place, and we will do continuous improvement up to the day we Federalize. Senator Boxer. Well, I think it is very important because when Secretary Mineta said, well, those are the old folks--old folks, new folks, some people do not care. They want them trained. They are out there. They are working for us, and they are working for the people to protect the people. So I hope that--and this is a message to the TSA folks--that you will conduct some of your own little tests just quietly, randomly, just to see that things are improving. Now, Mr. Acree, I am very concerned about Sacramento. I think Sacramento has been neglected. I feel that way in my heart, and I am upset about it. I am very delighted to hear you have a new person. Have you met with that person? Mr. Acree. Yes. We met this week. Senator Boxer. What is his name? Mr. Acree. William Wade. Senator Boxer. William Wade. And you expressed to him your concerns that you do not have any plan about the high failure rate and so on. Do you feel good that he's wrapping his arms around these issues? Mr. Acree. I met with him, it was his second day on the job, so I do not think he's got his arms around that issue yet. But we are optimistic that--as SFO, LAX, and San Diego have experienced, we expect to have a positive working relationship. And we think now that he's on board, we'll get some results. Senator Boxer. Good. Well, I am going to talk to him personally because I am very worried that you have--of all the airports here, my sense is you have the longest way to go in terms of having the master plan, and you've been very candid about that. So I want you to know that I am going to help get a little special attention over there because it worries me. San Diego and San Francisco are complaining about, you know, decisions that have been made to put certain machinery in their lobbies, and you do not even know what plan there is for Sacramento to complain about or not complain about. Mr. Acree. We like to say that we aim to please, please give us some place to aim. That is where we are at. Mr. Aguilar. Senator, if I could interject, not to become defensive, but as of February when the TSA took over all the airports, we did not neglect any of the airports. In fact, we placed at every airport, pending the appointment of an FSD, an interim Federal security representative. I have not been to Sacramento. I have to believe that they have an interim secretary. Senator Boxer. I talked to her---- Mr. Aguilar. Yes, ma'am, and---- Senator Boxer.--and she did not even know the results of the TSA tests on screeners. She said she was not even told, and she was the acting person. I am just saying, look, it is a new agency; we are finding our way. And it is not about blame. It is just that if I talk to an acting head--I mean, if you were sitting there--you are the head of security and at a very important airport, as all of these airports are, and you did not know that your own boss's agency conducted a test and you failed it by 40 percent, you would have to read it in the paper--she read it in the paper--I mean, this is bad. Now, the acting head of LAX was much more informed. He knew, he was told, he was informed, he was making changes and improvements, and he was excited that you were coming. This was a different story. There was no word that anyone was coming. And I believe that I might have helped stir the pot in that regard just to move it a little quicker because when I talked to TSA, they said, oh, Sacramento. I am afraid that is a long way down the list. So I do not think it is a question of being defensive. It is a fact that the acting head did not know that there was this failure rate. It is just a fact. I mean, we are all human and things happen, but--I cannot say what the bumper strip says, but things happen. But things do happen that are not good. Just trying to recap where we are: do we all agree that a trusted traveler program is very worth pursuing in order to lessen our hunt for the bad folks? I think there is an agreement there. That is very good. And I think if TSA--and in the beginning, TSA was not open to it, but clearly with the new leadership, they are open to this. So that is one very important thing that I am going to work on to try and develop and talk to Senator Hollings and Senator McCain and really start to move on this because we will do much better if we lessen the problem. And as far as what Mr. Martin said, that-- if let us just say half of the people signed up who are the frequent fliers, that would diminish the universe by how much do you think, in your airport? Mr. Martin. Like 25 percent. Senator Boxer. So if half the frequent fliers did this, you've got a 25 percent easier job. Now, that is, of course, knowing that, as Mr. Gomez stresses, it has got to be really good technology and cannot be counterfeited and the rest of it. And that is, when we get to our technology show--there are a few things there. I do not know if it will deal with that, but certainly here in California we can figure out a way to make that work. So that is number one. Number two, there is a disagreement between the Federal folks and a couple of local airports on the error rate on the trace detection systems. Admiral Stone. Senator, I have a comment on that. Senator Boxer. Yes. Admiral Stone. Since we have these trace detection systems here at the airport now, here at LAX, we have a protocol in effect that if one machine you get a hit on, you go to another one. And if that does not, then you can clear, you have supervisors come. So the point made that that will take time in December when we have our baggage checked in that way is true. But I am not getting 30 phone calls an hour telling me, over here at the terminal, that we have a problem. This is being resolved through time and testing and quantitative assessment by people. So as I look at December, I realize, as you stated, there is going to be some churn, some delay, but the costs far, I think in terms of security, outweigh the extra time that is going to be spent to resolve the error rate on ETDs. Senator Boxer. So the trace detection system, that is a bit of a conflict here. And my job, I want to get some more data, some more data on the accuracy or inaccuracy of those tests and the ways that you can get around it, which is to have a double check, and also the issue of passengers getting a choice to whether they want to stay with the bag or just go right to the plane. So we have an issue there. There is a disagreement between me and a couple of our local airport people in terms of slipping the date. I view that as a terrible way to go. And as I said, you know, it is like when you are a kid and you are doing your homework, it is really, give me another deadline, can't I do the test next week? You are still working up to the last minute. It does not work. We have a problem. We have to deal with it. We have people working overtime trying to hurt us, and we have got to act. And it is my view that one more horrible disaster is going to destroy what you are trying to build. That is what I want to put in your head. One miss, one horrible miss because somebody said, oh, well bag match will work. Well, bag match does not take the place of these tests. Let us see, I want to get back to these failure rates that we experienced at Sacramento and LAX, Mr. Stone, because I am not clear. What is the deadline for the new hires? Admiral Stone. Our intent is in October to Federalize LAX. So this week NCS Pearson & Company was contracted by TSA down here in Los Angeles, and we've opened up an assessment center. And they are currently in the position of recruiting folks that we are going to need to Federalize our force in October. Senator Boxer. Mr. Stone--and again, you are just so nice to take on this job of answering for people who are not here-- why is there no plan for Sacramento? Why are we getting this news that there is not even a plan there that they can argue about? Ms. Bowens, Mr. Martin, they at least have a plan they can argue about, or they think they do. You do not have a plan? Mr. Martin. We do not have a definite plan. We were told that it will be several weeks before we receive the plan and then another approximately 6 weeks, I believe, for the architectural and engineering and design work to be done, and then a couple months remaining for any construction work to be completed. And that's our great concern. We want to do all we can to be ahead of the curve on security. We recognize it is the TSA's responsibility, and I am purely providing my assessment of the lack of effectiveness of the trace detection machines that are not effective as compared to explosive detection devices on an in-line operating basis. Senator Boxer. We know. That is why they are interim and not permanent. Ms. Bowens, you do not have a plan either? Ms. Bowens. We are about at the same spot as San Francisco, maybe just a week or two ahead of them. Senator Boxer. So could you respond to that, Mr. Gomez? Mr. Gomez. Yes, Senator. I told you that there were several consulting contracts out; Boeing is doing the baggage screening, and Lockheed Martin is going to be doing the checkpoint screening; and that the airport management met with these people already and preliminary kind of input was established in terms of what they would like to see. Obviously, they want the least amount of interruption to the passenger screening; and that they do not want a lot of modifications, although TSA is going to pay for that. So keeping all those things in mind, we feel that within two to 3 weeks at the most, we are going to have some finalized plans that will take into account all of the input, and then based on that, then we're going to be able to do the reconfigurations to allow us to meet the mandate by November 19th. All three of our airports will have the new standards for all the screeners. They're going to be applied. They're going to be--the people are going to be operating at higher level with their equipment, with better configurations. So I think that we're going to be able to meet that. So the plan will evolve from that. Senator Boxer. Mr. Aguilar, is that---- Mr. Aguilar. Yes. In fact, TSA has contracted, as you know, Lockheed Martin to conduct the passenger surveys at all the airports and Boeing for the checked baggage. And it is my understanding, in addition to LAX, San Francisco, and San Diego, that we currently have both Boeing and Lockheed Martin at Sacramento doing their assessments. I would hope that those assessment teams are working with the interim Federal security representative in Sacramento, as I know all of us have shared with our airport managers the status of that assessment. And from that assessment, we will develop our plan--but we are at the beginning, merely at the beginning; that is what the assessment does--as to the best resolution for the introduction of the explosive detection systems and the reconfiguration of the checkpoints. But all the airports and my understanding, again, for Sacramento, that is currently being done, and certainly at San Diego. And I know I share all that information with Thella through my process action team. So again, that information---- Senator Boxer. So no plan yet written down, but you are discussing what the options will probably look like. And you are responding to that by saying you are worried about the interim solution. Let me just ask, Mr. Martin, Ms. Bowens, Mr. Acree, and Mr. Green, have these consultants talked to you, the Lockheed people and so on? Ms. Bowens. We've had meetings. Senator Boxer. And you've expressed your concerns, the movement and so on. And you, Mr. Acree? Mr. Acree. The TSA's contractor, we met with them, the first time, 1 month ago today on July 8th. Senator Boxer. Who was that contractor? Mr. Acree. That's Jim Harris. Admiral Stone. Senator, I have a comment concerning LAX on that. Every week we are meeting with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Los Angeles rural airports. There is an urgency here that this is not a measured approach. We're at war with terrorism. Folks at the table know that. So I think that is the key here, at least for LAX, is that sort of mind-set about moving on---- Senator Boxer. Good. Well, I think I would encourage you, as the TSA people, to bring in your airport folks into these conversations, these roundtables, as often as possible so that they can make sure that their voices are being heard. Because there may be ways to--if the problem is congestion in the lobby, there may be answers to that. I tried to put through a few suggestions of my own, but they might not be the right ones. But there may be ways to handle it in a way that it works. I have been at foreign airports where this is done. And, yeah, it is a little chaotic, but you sure feel good that somebody is checking bags for bombs. That is the bottom line. You want to make sure there is no bomb on that plane, and that is the thing. And if it is, you hope it is in a kevlar container, which we are going to show later. Because if it is in a kevlar container in a cargo hold, then apparently it will not go up. It will blow up, but it will not cause a fire. It will be contained in a bin. Mr. Stone, does the TSA plan to reimburse local police departments and so on for the security that is being provided in the lobbies? Admiral Stone. The arrangement for that is one of the issues that I am currently working with TSA to find out, that financial pipeline and how that is going to work. So when Mayor Hahn called me after the Fourth of July and told me of his plans, we have been discussing that issue. So I do not have any answers, but I can get back you. Senator Boxer. That is a very big issue because I think that we put a price, a security tag on the ticket prices, and you know, security is security. And if you are standing at the counter, you should be protected. It seems to me if the Federal Government's taking over security at airports, then it needs to--I agree with Ms. Bowens--utilize the local people to do it, but reimburse. It is an important thing. Mr. Green. If I might, Senator. I think any help you can give us in that regard would be appreciated because, obviously, the price you spoke to is going up considerably. The costs we are incurring going forward for security are staggering. Senator Boxer. I would like to hear from all of you on the added costs. Are you doing more security at the check-in counters? Mr. Acree. Yes, ma'am. We have deployed additional uniformed and nonuniformed law enforcement officers as well as additional canine teams. Senator Boxer. Good. And you as well, Ms. Bowens? Ms. Bowens. We have increased our police presence. We are on the list to receive additional canine teams. Our cost overall for increased police security at the airport has gone up about $3 million. Senator Boxer. Well, when I spoke to Admiral Loy, I was very pleased with his attitude on the point, and that was different from the prior individual. And so I am hopeful that we can resolve that. But do let me know; detail some of these costs. So let me sum up here. This has been very helpful to me. You know how I know that? Because I have a headache. And if I get a headache, it means that I have been concentrating and trying to figure this all out. That is how I know. We are going to work with the local people to make sure that you are reimbursed for your expenses that deal with the added security at the check-in. So please let me know. I think we have a sympathetic ear at the TSA. We just have to figure this out. Second, I hope that you will, instead of fighting the deadline, which is easy to do, work with us, please. You know, I will say this: if the Senate does vote to agree with Dick Armey and the House people and you get another year, you are not going to get any other years. It is only going to work once. So the bottom line is, you are going to have to do what you have to do. No one is going to come and arrest you, you know, if every little ``i'' is not dotted, but let us do what we need to do. I want to assure you, as a member of the traveling public, that a little inconvenience is not going to worry me. I want to get off the plane and see my grandchild at the other end or make my meeting at the other end, call my husband when I get to the other end, not from the airplane saying, ``I love you.'' That is not what I want to do, and I do not think I am very different from most. You are going to have a couple of people who are impossible to deal with, but that is our life. And you will always have people who are difficult, whether there is a long line or a short line, and we will deal with that as we have to. But I am very sympathetic to the challenge. I also think there are ways to get around false positives. You heard some of them from Mr. Stone, some backup tests, et cetera, that can work. Why do not we try to meet the deadline, please, I say to my friends out in there in the field. I compliment LA. I hope, I say to my TSA people, that you will stay on top of those screeners because we cannot handle a 40 percent failure rate. It is unacceptable. That is a giant hole in the dike that is not good. So let us work. Let us go and see some of the innovations. One of the things that I am working on is to try and get a better way, when someone gives an ID to a check-in person, to know if it is a false ID. And we have some demonstrations on that. So I want to thank all of you for being here. I know these are hard things to deal with, but we are all on the same team. The bad guys are on the other team. So let us stick together, unified, and defeat their attempts to harm us. I thank you very much, and we stand adjourned until we meet in the other room. Thank you. [Whereupon, the field hearing was adjourned.]