The 31 Recommended Steps

    Following the 1996 TWA Flight 800 crash, the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security issued 31 recommendations for protecting commercial aviation against terrorism. Most have been ignored, weakened, or stalled from implementation by the combined actions of the FAA and the airline industry. This report was issued Feb. 12, 1997.

1. The federal government should consider aviation security as a national security issue and provide substantial funding for capital improvements.

2. The Federal Aviation Administration should establish mandated standards for security enhancements.

3. The U.S. Postal Service should advise customers that all packages weighing more than 16 ounces will be subject to examination for explosives and other threatening objects in order to move by air.

4. Current law should be amended to clarify the U.S. Customs Service's authority to search outbound international mail.

5. The FAA should implement a comprehensive plan to address the threat of explosives and other threatening objects in cargo and work with industry to develop new initiatives in this area.

6. The FAA should establish a security system that will provide a high level of protection for all aviation information systems.

7. The FAA should work with airlines and airport consortia to ensure that all passengers are positively identified and subjected to security procedures before they board aircraft.

8. Submit a proposed resolution that the International Civil Aviation Organization begin a program to verify and improve compliance with international security standards.

9. Assess the possible use of chemical and biological weapons as tools of terrorism.

10. The FAA should work with industry to develop a national program to increase the professionalism of the aviation security work force, including screening personnel.

11. Access to airport controlled areas must be secured and the physical security of aircraft must be ensured.

12. Establish consortia at all commercial airports to implement enhancements to aviation safety and security.

13. Conduct airport vulnerability assessments and develop action plans.

14. Require criminal background checks and FBI fingerprint checks for all screeners, and all airport and airline employees with access to secure areas.

15. Deploy existing technology.

16. Establish a joint government-industry research and development program.

17. Establish an interagency task force to assess the potential use of surface-to-air missiles against commercial aircraft.

18. Significantly expand the use of bomb-sniffing dogs.

19. Complement technology with automated passenger profiling.

20. Certify screening companies and improve screener performance.

21. Aggressively test existing security systems.

22. Use the Customs Service to enhance security.

23. Give properly cleared airline and airport security personnel access to the classified information they need to know.

24. Begin implementation of full bag-passenger match.

25. Provide more compassionate and effective assistance to families of victims.

26. Improve passenger manifests.

27. Significantly increase the number of FBI agents assigned to counter-terrorism investigations and to crisis response.

28. Provide anti-terrorism assistance in the form of airport security training to countries where there are airports served by airlines flying to the U.S.

29. Resolve outstanding issues relating to identifying explosive materials.

30. Provide regular, comprehensive explosives detection training programs for foreign, federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as FAA and airline personnel.

31. Create a central clearinghouse within government to provide information on explosives crime.

None of these recommendations have been fully implemented by the airlines and that is the direct cause of the death of destruction of Sept. 11, 2001.

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Copyright 11/18/01