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9/11 and Today’s Aviation Security Infrastructure

By Keith Wojciech •  February 1, 2017

Options Exist to Mitigate Security Threats at Our Nation’s Airports

On February 19, 2001, one of auto-racing’s most famous icons, Dale Earnhardt, was killed instantly after suffering severe head trauma in a final-lap collision in the Daytona 500.

Though his death was mourned by millions, the tragic event led to the most comprehensive set of safety improvements in NASCAR history, like the HANS device, with progressive reverberations felt throughout all of motorsport to this day.

Later that same year the nation would experience one of its most significant tragedies: the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Recognizing the need for improvements to our aviation security infrastructure after 9/11, the federal government increased efforts, through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), to comprehensively vet the backgrounds of aviation workers, significantly increasing the security of our nation’s airports.

These new security initiatives, addressed in part by CFR Title 49 Part 1542, the TSA regulation for airport security, required that commercial airports conduct Security Threat Assessments and Criminal History Record Checks via a TSA-designated service provider before issuing access or identification media to applicants seeking unescorted authority to secure areas of the airport. These personnel include airport employees, airline employees, ground maintenance workers, concessionaires, retail employees, aircraft operators, volunteers, contractors, and others.

Competition Drives Innovation

In 2011, in response to Congressional, stakeholder, and airport operator requests that airports and airlines have a choice of service providers and that there be competition among them, the TSA awarded provider agreements to three Aviation Channeling Service Providers.aviation security infrastructure

Telos ID was selected as one of the awardees, and since 2012 has offered comprehensive Designated Aviation Channeling (DAC) services to our nation’s airports and airlines.

As a leading provider of identity management solutions and leveraging decades of experience supplying secure customer IT solutions worldwide, Telos ID’s services include numerous industry innovations that have allowed airports and airlines to more efficiently run their background check and badging operations – often times, at a significant cost savings.

More Secure and Efficient Airports

Much like NASCAR’s safety renaissance following Dale Earnhardt’s death, the federal government’s response to the nation’s aviation security vulnerabilities exposed on 9/11 led not only to the creation of the TSA, but to a host of progressive security initiatives for vetting aviation workers nationwide.

Competition is the critical driver of innovation and performance in the marketplace. The expansion of this program in 2011 to include multiple service providers led to an industry evolution as new ideas began to flourish, prices lowered, and greater choice resulted for airports and airlines.

But most importantly, the country’s airports emerged more secure and efficient as providers adopted new technologies and processes to meet the vigorous demands of the ever-evolving IT solutions and cyber security marketplace.

Keith Wojciech

Keith has 16 years of experience managing and delivering IT solutions for federal and commercial customers.

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The Empower and Protect Blog brings you cybersecurity and information technology insights from top industry experts at Telos.

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