Summary: H.R.4312 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4312. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (05/06/2004)

Safe Passengers and Lading in Aviation for the National Enhancement of Security Act - Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to: (1) study and report to Congress on the workforce size needed to conduct adequate passenger and baggage screening operations at airports; and (2) certify to Congress that security will be preserved at an airport that has been authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to opt out of federalized screening of passengers and property at the airport and contract with a qualified private screening company.

Directs the Secretary, in entering into agreements with airports to install electronic detection equipment or to alter airport structures to facilitate explosive detection equipment, to give priority to those airports that have not met specified Federal requirements to screen all checked baggage with explosive detection system (EDS).

Amends Federal transportation law to eliminate a bag-match program (ensuring that no checked baggage is placed aboard an aircraft unless the passenger who checked the baggage is aboard the aircraft) as an acceptable alternative to screening of checked baggage by an EDS.

Directs the Secretary, as part of the DHS budget request for FY 2006, to report to Congress on: (1) the status and technical maturity of aviation security technologies; (2) the planned schedule for their deployment; (3) the expected costs for development, testing, evaluation, procurement, and installation, and projected annual costs for operation and maintenance; (4) potential deployment problems in an airport setting; and (5) the advisability of deploying such technologies to airports in a manner that maximizes the number of technologies that Federal and airport security personnel can effectively operate.

Requires the Secretary, acting through the head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, and the Under Secretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, to: (1) issue updated technical specifications governing the use of EDS for baggage screening; (2) determine compliance with such specifications of currently deployed baggage screening equipment; (3) use such specifications for future certification of new technologies for use in baggage screening; and (4) issue technical specifications governing the use of technology for screening air cargo if the Secretary determines that explosive detection technologies for passenger and baggage screening do not meet the needs for screening air cargo in accordance with the following system.

Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Secretary to establish and begin to implement a system to screen or inspect all cargo that is to be transported in passenger aircraft operated by an air carrier or foreign air carrier in air transportation.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) complete a database containing the names and other relevant information of all known shipping companies; and (2) make it available as appropriate to TSA personnel, freight forwarders, airport authorities, air carriers, and other relevant entities.

Directs the Secretary to establish training standards that all Federal law enforcement officers must meet in order to serve as Federal air marshals. Requires the head of the Federal Air Marshal Service, in determining on which flights to place one or more Federal air marshals, to: (1) have access to information on whether Federal law enforcement officials meeting such training standards are scheduled to travel on commercial flights; and (2) not substitute Federal law enforcement officials that have not met such training standards for Federal air marshal personnel.

Directs the Secretary to collaborate with foreign governments to coordinate air marshal activities, including air marshal scheduling on international flights, weapons training, use and protocols for nonlethal weapons, threat recognition, communications, and other appropriate issues.

Directs the Secretary to issue regulations to: (1) require that overflying aircraft meet or exceed the level of flight deck security for passenger and cargo as required in specified Federal regulations; and (2) govern daily preflight searches of aircraft for foreign materials that might be used in a terrorist attack.

Directs the Secretary to require, to the greatest extent technically feasible, air carriers to provide flight attendants with a discreet and wireless method of communicating with pilots that meets such standards as the Secretary may establish by regulation. Requires such a system to be accessible by any Federal air marshal on a flight of an air carrier, appropriate Government security officials, and air carrier personnel.

Requires the head of TSA to report to Congress on TSA implementation of specified requirements of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act regarding: (1) improved airport perimeter access security; (2) short-term assessment and deployment of emerging security technologies and procedures; and (3) employment investigations and restrictions.

Requires all personnel accessing airport sterile areas (any parts of an airport regularly accessible to passengers after having cleared a passenger security screening checkpoint) from unrestricted areas to undergo security screening. Requires TSA to ensure that all personnel accessing airport secure areas have successfully undergone a TSA-conducted background check consisting of all measures required of TSA passenger screener personnel.

Requires the Secretary, acting through the head of TSA and the Under Secretary for Science and Technology of the Department of Homeland Security, to report to Congress on defending against the threat of attacks on commercial aircraft from man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) (shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missile systems that can be carried and transported by a person).