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PAN AM 103 BOMBING CAUSED BASIC CHANGES IN AVIATION SECURITY

    PAN AM 103 BOMBING CAUSED BASIC CHANGES IN AVIATION SECURITY
    WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The bombing of Pan American Airlines Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, three years ago triggered a total re-evaluation of aviation security and resulted in a substantially redesigned and improved system, according to the Department of Transportation.
    In the months following the terrorist act, Secretary of Transportation Samuel K. Skinner and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) took a series of actions designed to prevent a recurrence of the Dec. 21, 1988, disaster.
    When the President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism issued its report in May 1990, the department also acted quickly to implement most of the commission's recommendations.
    In November 1990, Congress enacted the most comprehensive aviation security law in recent years.  The department placed the highest priority on implementing the provisions of the statute that had not already been carried out.
    Skinner said, "We have already implemented 28 actions required by the law and have made substantial progress on 18 other actions which are scheduled to be completed in the next two years."
    Since the law was passed, federal security managers have been placed at 18 of the nation's major airports, and FAA has adopted more stringent requirements for the employment, training and performance of airline and airport security workers.  The FAA also has required foreign air carriers operating in the U.S. to provide improved security.
    Skinner said that in the past three years, "We have changed the way we do business in aviation security."  Some examples of the changes include:
    The FAA has an expanded and improved security organization with new leadership and an invigorated staff.  Aviation security staffing has increased from 485 in December 1988 to 825 currently with a goal of approximately 1,000 by the fall of 1992.  These figures include significant increases in the number of domestic and international security inspectors.
    The DOT Office of Intelligence and Security, which reports directly to the secretary, was founded in 1990 and works closely with the national intelligence
community and the FAA.   The office has developed procedures used to notify the public of certain domestic and overseas threats against aviation and other modes of transportation.
    A rule requiring criminal history record checks on airline and airport security workers is in process.
    FAA and FBI security experts have completed the first phase of an assessment of security at domestic airports.  The review will be completed in the fall of 1992.
    In the area of security research and development, the department has issued a protocol for testing bulk explosives detection systems (EDS) and is close to issuing a standard for EDS certification.
    In addition to the federal security managers assigned to 18 major U.S. airports, FAA, with the cooperation of the Department of State, has placed 14 civil aviation security liaison officers at embassies overseas.  Four more liaison officers will be assigned in the next year.
    Skinner also has urged the Senate to approve the Montreal Protocols that would allow families of victims in international aviation accidents, including those caused by terrorist acts, to get prompt recovery of all damages to which they are entitled.
    -0-                 11/14/91
    /NOTE:  A chronology of DOT and FAA actions taken to improve security in the last three years is available by calling the U.S. Department of Transportation at 202-366-5571/
    /CONTACT:  Hal Paris of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 202-366-5571/ CO:  U.S. Department of Transportation ST:  District of Columbia IN:  AIR SU: TW-MH -- DC010 -- 4435 11/14/91 12:25 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 14, 1991
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