Committee Delegation Examines Last Point of Departure Airports and Aviation Security in Jordan and Germany
Washington, D.C. – House Homeland Security’s Transportation and Protective Security Subcommittee Chairman John Katko (R-NY) continued visiting last point of departure airports with a bipartisan delegation of House lawmakers in Amman, Jordan and Frankfurt, Germany.
In Jordan, the delegation toured Queen Alia International Airport, met with His Royal Highness Prince Faisal, visited Za’atri Refugee Camp, and was briefed at the Joint Training Center in Zarqa. The group discussed the strategic and operational coordination between Jordan and the United States on various fronts, including our partnership to defeat ISIS, the ongoing refugee crisis, as well as Jordan’s stability and strong ties to the U.S.
The group also toured Frankfurt International Airport and Lufthansa headquarters in Germany, and met with officials at the U.S. Consulate to examine current threats to aviation security and the measures our German partners have in place to screen passengers and aviation workers. The group also discussed the German refugee issue as well as the Brexit impact on air travel within the European community.
Chairman Katko offered the following statement on the heels of the delegation’s visit to Amman and Frankfurt.
Rep. John Katko: “Terrorists remain intent on taking down aircraft. We must continue to stay ahead of the evolving and persistent threat to the global aviation sector—starting with enhanced coordination and collaboration with foreign partners. Our delegation saw firsthand the security measures in place in both Amman and Frankfurt, including the benefits of legislation I championed last year (P.L. 114-90). After examining three critical last point of departure airports, I remain committed to ensuring the security of passengers and cargo on direct flights into the United States, and building on our shared partnerships.
"As for the refugee issue, it is clear that it continues to be a focal point of concern within Jordan and the European Union, especially now that the ISIS caliphate is disintegrating and reports indicate that ISIS soldiers are attempting to infiltrate the Middle East and Western Europe through the refugee process."
Trip Highlights in Amman, Jordan
- The delegation toured Queen Alia International Airport, the largest airport in Jordan, to observe Jordan’s civil aviation security procedures and employee screening. Rep. Katko saw the impact of his provision in Public Law 114-190, The FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016, which authorized TSA to donate U.S. passenger screening equipment abroad, including Jordan.
- The group also met with His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Al-Hussein at Husseiniya Palace, where His Royal Highness emphasized the need for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and regional cooperation between other countries in the region. He thanked the delegation for their commitment to Jordan and praised the United States for its enduring support.
- At Za’atri Refugee Camp, members met with UNHCR personnel, other UN agencies, and NGO partners and toured the camp that is home to 83,000 refugees who fled from Syria. They held small group discussions with the refugees and talked with children in the camp, which proved to be an emotional experience for all. To date, the U.S. has provided more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance to Jordan to assist with Syrian refugees, which has one of the highest per capita refugee rates in the world.
- The delegation visited the Joint Training Center in Zarqa, a Jordanian base used for training Border Guard Forces. The Jordan Operational Engagement Program allows the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps to train with and equip the border guard units within the Jordan Armed Forces to support Jordan’s efforts to defeat ISIS.
- Members participated in a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, where they touched on the importance of Jordan’s regional leadership and our strategic cooperation in the Middle East.
Trip Highlights from Frankfurt, Germany:
- The delegation toured Frankfurt International Airport, which has more direct flights to the United States than any other airport in the world, and discussed security measures, cooperative efforts and information-sharing procedures.
- At the Lufthansa Aviation Center, the group met with airline officials to discuss their security apparatus and risks to international civil aviation and visited their crisis operations center. The airline flies 5.8 million passengers a year to the U.S.
- Members were briefed by U.S. officials at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt on the political landscape in Germany, Europe’s security posture, and the impact of Brexit on the EU.
Members of the Delegation included:
Transportation and Protective Security Subcommittee Chairman John Katko (R-NY)
Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS), Homeland Security Committee
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX), Homeland Security Committee
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Homeland Security Committee
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