Summary: H.R.1659 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/20/1989)

Aviation Security Act of 1989 - Title I: Department of Transportation - Amends the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 to direct the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to require air carriers to use thermal neutron analysis (or technologically more advanced) explosive detection equipment at certain foreign and domestic airports.

Amends the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982 to require the Administrator to: (1) purchase from air carriers explosive detection equipment purchased by such carriers to meet the technology standards required for such equipment; and (2) purchase and install explosive detection equipment meeting such standards for such air carriers. Authorizes appropriations.

Amends the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 to require minimum screening of all passengers on aircraft seating more than 30 passengers at airports regularly served by aircraft with seating for more than 60 passengers, including carry-on property of such passengers.

Amends the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982 to authorize the use of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund grants to pay such equipment acquisition costs. Authorizes appropriations.

Amends the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 to authorize the Administrator to approve a security program of an airport operator which incorporates a security program of an airport tenant having access to the secured areas of the airport if specified conditions are met. Directs the Secretary of Transportation to publish the names of those foreign carriers which comply with the security measures imposed by the Administrator upon air carriers serving the same airports as such foreign air carriers.

Requires the Administrator to initiate rulemaking proceedings to propose methods of improving the effectiveness of security screening of air carrier passengers and carry-on baggage, including proposals for the Federal certification of air carrier security screening personnel and proposals to improve the qualifications, training, management, and retention of such personnel.

Changes from discretionary to mandatory the Secretary's authority to provide by grant for the continuation of the Explosive Detection K-9 Team Training Program. Authorizes appropriations.

Authorizes the Administrator, with the concurrence of the United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Commerce, to award contracts for implementation of such security equipment at airports and aboard aircraft to domestic firms if it is in the public interest. Requires the Administrator to report to the Congress with respect to such Buy American requirements.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Federal Government should play a major role in implementing the installation of high-technology explosive detection equipment at airports and aboard aircraft.

Title II: Department of State and Related Authorities - Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Transportation should give high priority to conclude bilateral and multilateral agreements which would require security measures for foreign air carriers comparable to those required of U.S. air carriers serving the same airports as such foreign air carriers.

Requires the Secretary of State to take steps to ensure that airport and air carrier security equipment at foreign airports is considered by such foreign countries to be exempt from customs duties and taxes. Requires the Secretary of State to take steps, including negotiations for bilateral and multilateral agreements, to ensure that: (1) taggants or markers for pre-blast detection are incorporated within all plastic explosives; and (2) manufacturers of such explosives do not export or sell them to countries that support terrorism.

Declares that the Congress call on all countries that produce high explosives to take specified actions to deter the use of such explosives by terrorists.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that nations which are not signatories of the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft (the Agreements) should become parties to such agreements.

Authorizes appropriations for antiterrorism assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, to be available only for airport security training and assistance and airport security equipment.

Directs the Administrator to require that ground security coordinators of U.S. air carriers serving at U.S. and foreign airports which pose a high risk of danger to international air travel provide a comprehensive security briefing to the in-flight security coordinator regarding the potential dangers to the security of passengers, aircraft, or crew traveling to or from such airport.

Directs the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to submit to specified congressional committees a report on FAA efforts to increase the level of staffing and enhance the utilization of U.S. civil aviation security specialists.

Requires the Administrator, whenever he determines that a foreign air carrier does not comply with a security plan accepted by him for such carrier, to notify, after advising the Secretary of State, such carrier of the determination, and make recommendations to bring the carrier into compliance with such security plan. Requires the Administrator to inform the Secretary of State that such foreign air carrier has failed to take corrective action with respect to the security plan. Requires the Secretary of State to issue a travel advisory if such corrective measures are not taken by such carrier. Directs the Secretary of State to publish at least annually the names of those nations which are not signatories of the Agreements.

Sets forth provisions relating to: (1) the dissemination of FAA security bulletins abroad; (2) the responsiveness of foreign governments, air carriers, and airports to such bulletins; (3) the assistance of U.S. diplomatic security personnel to U.S. Department of Transportation personnel in monitoring the implementation of security measures by foreign air carriers; (4) dissemination of FAA security bulletins by diplomatic and consular posts; (5) guidelines for international aviation travelers with respect to terrorism; (6) the training of U.S. personnel at international airports in the United States and abroad with respect to the detection of explosives and firearms; and (7) sanctions against countries supporting terrorism.

Directs the Secretary of State to establish a program to facilitate telephone inquires by next-of-kin in cases of major disasters abroad. Authorizes appropriations. Requires the Secretary of State to institute a program of training in crisis management for consular officers.

Directs the Secretary of Transportation to develop and publish guidelines for thwarting efforts by international terrorists to enlist the unwitting assistance of travelers in terrorist activities. Requires prominently displayed warnings in international airports at home and abroad. Requires the Secretary together with the Secretary of State to negotiate with other nations to establish international standards for such guidelines. Directs the Secretary of State to publish the reward notices for information on international terrorist-related activities.

Declares that it is the sense of the Congress that the Secretary of Transportation should take measures to train and use officers and employees of other Federal agencies who have functions in domestic and foreign international airports in the detection of explosives and firearms which could be a threat to international civil aviation.

Directs the Secretary of State to seek imposition of multilateral sanctions against any country which supports terrorism or supports or harbors terrorists or terrorist organizations. Specifies minimum sanctions, including suspension of international flights serving such a country plus denial of service to aircraft of such a country.

Requires the Secretary of Transportation to report to the Congress on the feasibility of requiring security measures for U.S. air carriers comparable to those adopted by EL AL Airlines.

Requires the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Transportation, to make specified proposals relating to explosive detection to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Requires the Secretary of State to submit a report concerning inspection of travel documents of all aviation passengers prior to flight arrival in the United States.

Directs the Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of State to convene a task force on aviation security.

Amends the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to increase the amount of a reward that the Secretary of State may pay to an individual who furnishes information regarding terrorist activities.