TO ADDRESS INSIDER THREATS OVERSEAS, KATKO INTRODUCES BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO SECURE FOREIGN POINTS OF ENTRY

March 16, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative John Katko (NY-24) today announced that he has introduced bipartisan legislation, the Securing Aviation from Foreign Entry Points and Guarding Airports through Enhanced Security Act  (H.R. 4698) to improve passenger and airline safety at Last Point of Departure airports, foreign airports that have direct flights to the United States.  U.S. Rep. Bill Keating (MA-9) joined Rep. Katko in introducing this legislation.
 
Following several high profile breaches at airports nationwide where guns and illegaldrug trafficking schemes were exposed, Representative Katko led the House Homeland Security Committee’s efforts to examine these breaches and to improve airport access controls and employee vetting throughout the United States.  However, the October 2015 downing of Metrojet Flight 9268 highlighted airport vulnerabilities from insider threats overseas.
 
“In my role as Chairman of the Transportation Security subcommittee, I’ve looked extensively at insider threats at airports both domestically and abroad,” said Representative Katko.  “In order to keep our country safe, we must ensure that individuals traveling from last point of departure airports are held to the same scrutiny as individuals within our country.  Today’s legislation is a result of tremendous bipartisan efforts on the House Homeland Security Committee to improve airport access controls and employee vetting both throughout theUnited States and at foreign airports that have direct flights to the United States.”
 
Combining Representative Katko’s work with the Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel and the Transportation Security subcommittee investigation on airport security, the Securing Aviation from Foreign Entry Points and Guarding Airports through Enhanced Security Act:

·      Directs the TSA to conduct and implement a ‘security coordination enhancement plan’ to improve passenger and airline safety at Last Point of Departure (LPD) Airports, airports that have direct flights to the United States.  

·      Authorizes the Transportation Security Administration to donate security equipment to foreign LPD Airports.

·      Functions to increase cooperation between partner nations to ensure safe skies.

·      If TSA finds that a LPD airport does not meet requisite standards, TSA will have the authority to quickly fill security gaps with screening assistance.   

·      Requires an assessment of foreign cargo security programs to ensure that our federal law enforcement agencies, as well as Congress, are informed of the current security environment to prevent any shipment of nefarious materials via air cargo.
 
Since being elected to represent Central New York in Congress, Congressman John Katko has fought through gridlock todeliver results for his constituents.  In a time of divided government, he has introduced 21 bills in the U.S. House of Representatives, with 8 passing the House and 2 signed into law.  As Chairman of the Transportation Security Subcommittee, he has held 13 hearings to date, more than any subcommittee Chairman on the House Homeland Security Committee.
 
Congressman John Katko represents the 24th Congressional District, which includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga, and Wayne Counties and the western portion of Oswego County.  For more information, please visit https://katko.house.gov or www.facebook.com/RepJohnKatko.
 
###