Building and upholding the standard

Security Issues

Bill Cason - Director of Security
Steve Sevier - Director of Security/Passenger

CAPA is an advocate for strong security programs that continue to fortify the continuously vulnerable aviation industry - domestically and internationally.

CAPA Committee representatives are the subject  matter experts who work collaboratively and cooperatively with government agencies and Capitol Hill to reconstruct a more secure operating environment for our passengers and fellow aircrew members within the aviation industry; an industry critical to the economic infrastructure of the United States - affecting nearly 10% of our nations' GDP.

While improvements have been made in transportation security, key gaps in our security system remain which must be addressed to enhance our protection and reduce our vulnerabilities to terrorism - to protect the American people.

CAPA is presently focused on a number of key concerns facing the airline industry - and the millions who depend on it every day. In the post-9/11 world, aviation/airport security has become a critical aspect of national defense; and is a critical component of the Department of Homeland Security's National Infrastructure Protection Plan.  CAPA advocates a number of upgrades that include:

  • Pilot Biometric IDs: Careful screening of all airport employees before they enter secure areas, including the use of biometric identification measures. CAPA's longstanding goal has been to both encourage and facilitate the implementation and standardization of high-level authentication methods to positively verify the identity of all individuals who are authorized flight deck access on both passenger and all-cargo carriers.
  • Threat Intelligence: Sharing of updated security directives and potential threats with flightcrew, who play a critical role in aircraft security.  In practice, since 9/11, most airline corporate security managers continue to demonstrate a reluctant to pass critical threat information to crewmembers, and sometimes simply do not.  This is a dated issue highlighted again in December 2001 (AAL Flight #63, Richard Reid, a.k.a. the "Shoe Bomber"), when government regulatory agencies failed to ensure that airline crews were notified of current critical Security Information Circulars (ICs).  It is paramount that all crewmembers be alerted to all "threat intelligence", the information is not consistently available.  (American Airlines is the only airline in the entire country which has established a secure distribution process for these critical documents).
  • Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) Program: Strengthening the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which trains and monitors pilots who carry firearms in the event of an act of air piracy.
  • Cargo Screening:  Until recently, only 3% of the cargo on all-passenger aircraft had been screened through the flawed TSA "known shipper program". Cargo screening procedures are still fraught with program weaknesses which must be addressed.  All-cargo screening remains unaddressed.
  • Crewmember Self Defense Training:  CMSDT is a valuable layer of aviation security and is recognized as a TSA "additional layer of security". Changes to the program are needed, and viable locations for all crewmembers need to be changed (on or near airport property).  CMSDT, when properly administered, it provides airline crewmembers with a good introduction to self-defense techniques which can protect them during an attack.