Summary: H.R.3150 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (11/01/2001)

Airport Security Federalization Act of 2001- Title I: Aviation Security - Amends Federal transportation law to establish in the Department of Transportation (DOT) the Transportation Security Administration, to be headed by an Under Secretary of Transportation for Security responsible for security in all modes of transportation, including: (1) civil aviation security; (2) security responsibilities over nonaviation modes of transportation that are exercised by DOT (other than the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)); (3) policies, strategies, and plans for dealing with threats to transportation; (4) supervise all airport security and screening services using Federal uniformed personnel; (5) ensure the adequacy of security measures for the transportation of cargo; (6) perform background checks for airport security screening personnel, individuals with unescorted access to secure areas of airports, and other transportation security personnel; and (7) develop standards for the hiring and retention of security screening personnel.

(Sec. 102) Makes the Under Secretary responsible for the screening of passengers and property on passenger aircraft in air transportation that originates in the United States or intrastate air transportation that was previously performed by an employee or agent of an air carrier, intrastate air carrier, or foreign air carrier. Requires such screening to be performed by uniformed Federal personnel of the Transportation Security Administration who shall have the power to order the dismissal of such screener.

(Sec. 103) Requires airport operators to establish air transportation security programs that also provide for a military presence at each airport, including at locations where passengers are screened.

(Sec. 104) Applies certain employment standards and training requirements to airport security personnel, including screeners of passengers and property. Requires such standards and requirements to include, among other things, that such screeners be U.S. citizens and that there be a preference for the hiring of individuals who are members of the armed forces or former members of the armed forces or former employees of an air carrier who were terminated as a result of a reduction in force.

(Sec. 105) Requires the Under Secretary to: (1) provide for the deployment of Federal air marshals on selected passenger flights, including background and fitness checks and appropriate training, supervision, and equipment for such marshals; and (2) take specified enhanced aviation-related security measures, including allowing pilots to carry firearms in the cockpit of an aircraft and implementation of methods to fortify cockpit doors to deny access from the cabin. Requires a system to screen all checked baggage at all U.S. airports to be in operation not later than December 31, 2003 (including the installation of explosive detection equipment to screen checked baggage and cargo as soon as possible). Requires the Under Secretary to report annually to Congress on progress made in implementing such security measures.

(Sec. 107) Requires a background check (including a criminal history record check and a review of available law enforcement data bases and records of other governmental and international agencies) for current airport screeners (including employees who have unescorted access to an aircraft of an air carrier or foreign air carrier, or unescorted access to a secured area of a U.S. airport that serves such air carrier or foreign air carrier) unless they were subject to such background check before they began their current employment or are otherwise exempted by Federal law.

(Sec. 108) Directs the Under Secretary to impose a passenger and baggage screening fee not to exceed $2.50 on a one-way trip on passengers of air carriers and foreign air carriers in air transportation and intrastate air transportation originating at U.S. airports.

(Sec. 109) Authorizes appropriations for: (1) Transportation Security Administration operations; (2) aircraft security grants; and (3) airport security.

(Sec. 110) Declares that an individual shall not be liable for damages in any action brought in a Federal or State court that arises from attempts to thwart an act of criminal violence or piracy on an aircraft, if the individual in good faith believed that such act of criminal violence or piracy was occurring or was about to occur.

(Sec. 111) Directs the Under Secretary to require each air carrier and foreign air carrier operating a passenger flight in foreign air transportation to the United States to provide the Under Secretary by electronic transmission a passenger and crew manifest containing specified information.

(Sec. 112) Establishes the Transportation Security Oversight Board to review and approve regulations issued by the Under Secretary with respect to transportation security matters.

Establishes the Transportation Security Advisory Council to provide advice and counsel to the Under Secretary on issues which affect or are affected by Transportation Security Administration operations.

(Sec. 113) Declares that any passenger facility fee approved, or grant made, in FY 2002 that is used to improve security at an airport shall be exempt from the requirement to submit a competition plan to the Secretary of Transportation.

Makes eligible for airport development project funds: (1) the hiring, training, compensating, or reimbursement for law enforcement personnel at a non-hub or small hub airport; (2) in FY 2002, any activity, including operational activities, of a non-primary airport if it is located within the confines of enhanced class B airspace, as defined by Notice to Airmen FDC 1/0618 issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); and (3) in FY 2002 payments for debt service on indebtedness incurred to carry out a project at an airport owned or controlled by the sponsor, or at a privately owned or operated airport passenger terminal financed by indebtedness incurred by the sponsor, if such payments are necessary to prevent a default on such indebtedness. Declares that the Federal share of costs for such projects shall be 100 percent.

(Sec. 114) Amends the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act to authorize the President to set aside a portion of the amount of compensation payable to air carriers for losses incurred as a result of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, to provide compensation to air carriers providing air ambulance services.

(Sec. 115) Amends Federal aviation law to apply certain provisions requiring the testing of FAA employees with safety-sensitive functions for alcohol and controlled substances to employees of the Transportation Security Administration who perform the same functions. Transfers the authority to test airport security screening personnel for such substances from the FAA to the Under Secretary.

(Sec. 119) Sets forth certain requirements with respect to aircraft operations in enhanced class B airspace.

(Sec. 120) Authorizes the Under Secretary to grant a waiver from restrictions imposed on an air carrier for reasons of national security by any government agency for the carriage of cargo, mail, patients, and emergency medical supplies (and associated personnel) on flights to or from a community that is not accessible by road, or that is more than 200 miles, from a hub airport.

(Sec. 121) Authorizes airport operators to conduct threat assessments with regard to passenger vehicles parked within 300 feet of an airport terminal.

(Sec. 122) Requires an air carrier that provides air passenger transportation to provide, to the extent practicable, air transportation to passengers ticketed for air transportation by any other air carrier that suspends, interrupts, or discontinues air passenger service by reason of an act of war or terrorism or insolvency or bankruptcy of such carrier.

(Sec. 123) Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the Administrator of the FAA should continue negotiating in good faith with flight service station employees of the FAA with a goal of reaching agreement on a contract as soon as possible; (2) the Secretary should implement a specified section of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act so as to make war risk insurance available to vendors, agents, and subcontractors of general aviation aircraft; (3) an air carrier that transports mail under a contract with the U.S. Postal Service should transport any animal that the Postal Service allows to be shipped through the mail; (4) the Under Secretary should require, as soon as practicable, that all property carried in a passenger aircraft in air transportation or intrastate air transportation (including checked baggage) be screened by any currently available means, including X-ray machine, hand-held metal detector, explosive detection system equipment, or manual search; and (5) the Under Secretary in awarding a contract for airport security services should, to the maximum extent practicable, award the contract to a firm owned and controlled by a U.S. citizen.

Title II: Victims Compensation - Amends the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act to set forth certain requirements limiting liability for damages (including attorneys' fees) arising out of the crashes of September 11, 2001.