Summary: H.R.5732 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (10/23/1990)

Aviation Security Improvement Act of 1990 - Title I: Aviation Security - Amends Federal law to establish in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation the position of Director of Intelligence and Security for the development of transportation security.

Amends the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 to require the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to report annually to the Congress on transportation security. Requires the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Administrator) to report annually (currently, semiannually) to the Congress on the effectiveness of screening procedures for passengers boarding aircraft.

Establishes in the FAA an Assistant Administrator for Civil Aviation Security. Requires the Assistant Administrator to review and develop measures to strengthen air transportation security, including: (1) controls over checked baggage in air transportation; (2) control over individuals with access to aircraft; (3) testing of security systems; (4) use of modern x-ray equipment; and (5) preflight screening of passengers.

Directs the Administrator to establish the position of: (1) Federal Security Manager for each U.S. airport that needs one; and (2) Foreign Security Liaison officer for each such airport outside of the United States.

Directs the Administrator to issue regulations that subject to employment investigation, including criminal history record checks, all air carrier personnel, and individuals applying for air carrier positions, with unescorted access to domestic and foreign aircraft or to secured areas of domestic airports serving U.S. or foreign air carriers. Prohibits the employment of any individual who: (1) has not had an employment investigation; or (2) has been convicted of one or more specified crimes within the previous ten years. Directs the Administrator to prescribe standards for the hiring, continued employment, and contracting of air carrier and airport security personnel. Requires foreign air carriers to adopt and use a security program approved by the Administrator.

Requires the Administrator and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct an assessment of current and potential threats to the domestic air transportation system, including the security of individual airports.

Directs the Administrator to establish a program to accelerate and expand the research, development, and implementation of technologies and procedures to counteract terrorist acts against civil aviation. Requires the Administrator to: (1) complete a review of threats to civil aviation; and (2) establish a scientific advisory panel, as a subcommittee of the Research, Engineering and Development Advisory Committee, to review and advise on the progress of such program, including the need for long-range research programs to detect and prevent catastrophic damage to commercial aircraft by the next generation of terrorist weapons. Authorizes appropriations.

Prohibits the deployment or purchase of explosive detection equipment unless the Administrator certifies that it can reliably detect explosive material which can cause catastrophic damage to commercial aircraft. Provides for interim deployment of such equipment before testing is complete if deployment would significantly enhance security.

Requires air carriers, airport operators, travel agents, and employees who receive information of a threat to civil aviation to provide such information to the Secretary or his designee.

Requires the Administrator to cancel flights in the event that passenger safety from such a threat cannot be ensured.

Requires the Administrator to develop guidelines to ensure notification to the public and to the flight and cabin crews of an air carrier flight of any threats to its security.

Directs the Administrator to develop guidelines for airport design and construction to allow for maximum security enhancement.

Directs the heads of the agencies of the intelligence community to promulgate policies and procedures to ensure that intelligence reports concerning international terrorism are made available to other members of the intelligence community, the Department of Transportation, and the FAA. Directs the Director of Central Intelligence, at the request of the Secretary, to designate at least one intelligence officer of the Central Intelligence Agency to serve in a senior staff position in the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation.

Requires the Administrator to study whether additional requirements should be imposed to enhance the security requirements for the transportation of mail and cargo by passenger aircraft.

Title II: United States Response to Terrorism Affecting Americans Abroad - Declares that the Department of State (the Department) shall be responsible for negotiating aviation security agreements with foreign countries concerning implementation of U.S. rules and regulations which affect the foreign operations of U.S. air carriers, foreign air carriers, and foreign international airports. Directs the Secretary of State to enter into negotiations for bilateral and multilateral agreements: (1) to enhance aviation security; (2) to implement the Foreign Airport Security Act and the foreign airport assessment program; and (3) to achieve improved availability of passenger manifest information.

Makes the Coordinator for Counterterrorism responsible for the coordination of international aviation security for the Department.

Requires the Secretary to require all U.S. air carriers to provide a passenger manifest of any flight to appropriate representatives of the Department within: (1) one hour after the carrier is notified of an aviation disaster outside the United States involving such flight; or (2) if it is not feasible or reasonable within one hour, then as expeditiously as possible, but no later than three hours after such notification. Authorizes the use of passport fees collected by the Department for the acquisition and production of machine-readable U.S. passports and visas and compatible reading equipment.

Declares it to be the policy of the Department to notify promptly the families of victims of aviation disasters abroad, including timely written notice.

Directs the Secretary of State to issue guidelines to provide that in the event of an international disaster, particularly an aviation tragedy, involving U.S. citizens abroad, the Department will assign a specific individual, and an alternate, as the Department liaison for the family of each such citizen. Requires the Secretary to ensure that a toll-free telephone number is reserved for the use of the families of citizens who have been involved in such disasters.

Requires the Secretary to institute a supplemental program of training in disaster management for all consular officers.

Directs the Secretary to issue guidelines to provide in the event of an international aviation disaster involving U.S. citizens that at least: (1) one senior officer from the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Department shall be dispatched to the disaster site; and (2) one Department employee shall be dispatched to such site to provide assistance and to act as an ombudsman with foreign local authorities for the victims' families. Requires the Secretary to promulgate: (1) criteria for Department staffing of disaster sites abroad; and (2) procedures for the deployment of a crisis team.

Declares it to be the policy of the Department to provide arrangements for the preparation and transport to the United States of the remains of citizens who die abroad, as well as for disposition of personal effects.

Requires the Secretary to compile an assessment of the Department response to the Pan American Airways Flight 103 disaster over Lockerbie, Scotland, together with guidelines for future response to such disasters, for distribution to Embassy and consular posts abroad. Requires the Secretary to promulgate guidelines with respect to recognition for the families of U.S. citizens who are killed through acts of terrorism abroad.

Directs the President to submit to the Congress a legislative proposal to authorize the United States to provide monetary and tax relief as compensation to U.S. citizens who are victims of terrorism.

Exempts the victims of the Lockerbie air disaster from income tax liability for any taxable year including December 21, 1988, and the prior year.

Requires the Secretary to issue regulations to establish, under the Bureau of Consular Affairs, an electronic bulletin board accessible to the general public.

Authorizes appropriations for antiterrorism assistance. Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to authorize training services, including short term refresher training, with respect to antiterrorism, to be conducted, under specified circumstances, outside of the United States.

Directs the Secretary of State to develop and publish guidelines for thwarting efforts by international terrorists to enlist unwitting assistance of international aviation travelers in terrorist activities. Requires the Secretary of State to publish U.S. rewards for information on international terrorist-related activities.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Secretary should take measures to utilize and train U.S. employees at U.S. airports and abroad in the detection of explosives and firearms which could threaten international civil aviation.

Requires the Secretary of State to propose to the International Civil Aviation Organization the establishment of a security program which includes: (1) training for airport security personnel; (2) grants for security equipment acquisition for certain nations; and (3) expansion of canine teams in the detection of explosive devices in all airports, including passenger screening areas and nonpublic baggage assembly and processing areas.