Summary: H.R.876 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (04/25/2017)

Aviation Employee Screening and Security Enhancement Act of 2017

(Sec. 3) This bill directs the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct, and submit to Congress and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a cost and feasibility study of a statistically significant number of Category I, II, III, IV, and X airports assessing the impact if all airport employee access points from non-secured to secured airport areas are comprised of the following:

  • a secure door utilizing card and pin entry or biometric technology;
  • surveillance video recording capable of storing video data for at least 30 days;
  • certain advanced screening technologies, including magnetometers, explosives detection canines, explosives trace detection swabbing, advanced imaging technology, and X-ray bag screening technology; and
  • information related to employee screening costs of such airports that have already implemented practices of screening 100% of employees accessing secured areas.

The GAO shall assess the completed study and report the results to Congress.

(Sec. 4) The TSA shall:

  • work with air carriers, foreign air carriers, airport operators, labor unions representing credentialed airport employees, and the TSA's Aviation Security Advisory Committee to enhance security awareness of credentialed airport workers regarding insider threats to aviation security and best practices related to airport access controls;
  • assess credentialing standards, policies, and practices to ensure that insider threats to aviation security are adequately addressed;
  • require airport operators to submit the social security number of an individual applying for a credential granting access to the Security Identification Display Area of an airport to strengthen security vetting effectiveness; and
  • issue requirements for airport operators to include in applications for access to such area a notice that an employee holding a credential granting such access may be screened at any time while entering, working in, or leaving the area.

(Sec. 5) The TSA shall also:

  • work with airport operators and the TSA Advisory Committee to identify advanced technologies for securing employee access to secured and sterile airport areas;
  • ensure that credentialed aviation worker populations currently requiring a fingerprint-based criminal record history check are continuously vetted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Rap Back Service to mitigate insider threats;
  • identify ways to enhance TSA's ability to educate its personnel on insider threats to aviation security and on how to mitigate such threats;
  • ensure that TSA employee physical inspection efforts of aviation workers (Playbook operations) are focused on providing the greatest level of security effectiveness;
  • conduct covert testing of TSA employee screening operations at airports;
  • report on the frequency, methodology, strategy, and effectiveness of employee inspection operations at airports; and
  • establish a national database of individuals who have had either their airport or aircraft operator-issued badge revoked for failure to comply with aviation security requirements, as well a process to allow individuals whose names were mistakenly entered into such database to correct the record and have their names removed from it.

(Sec. 6) The DHS is the lead interagency coordinator to insider threat investigations and mitigation efforts at airports.

(Sec. 7) The TSA shall submit a plan to conduct recurring reviews of the operational security controls for TSA information technology systems at airports.