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Readout of Secretary Napolitano's Remarks to the Aero Club on DHS Efforts to Bolster Aviation Security

Release Date: 
April 26, 2010

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today delivered remarks to domestic and international aviation leaders about the Department’s ongoing efforts to bolster global aviation security at a luncheon hosted by the Aero Club of Washington.

“Protecting the international aviation system is a shared challenge that requires the mutual commitment of our international allies and private sector partners,” said Secretary Napolitano. “We are committed to working closely with our partners around the world to deploy intelligence-based targeting, state-of-the art technologies and proactive screening measures to deter and disrupt terrorism and other threats to the global aviation system.”

In her remarks, Secretary Napolitano commended the United States’ many international partners who have taken steps to enhance aviation security through deployment of new technology, enhanced information sharing, and stronger standards to keep air travel safe.

She also discussed DHS’ ongoing efforts to bolster aviation security in the United States by assigning additional behavior detection officers, air marshals and explosives detection canine teams to airports around the country, and developing, updating and deploying the latest technology—highlighting the 450 Advanced Imaging Technology machines she has pledged to have in place by the end of 2010. The President’s fiscal year 2011 budget proposal includes funding for the purchase and installation of 500 additional units.

On April 15, Secretary Napolitano announced the purchase of more than 1,200 explosives trace detection units using $35.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to effectively and efficiently screen checked and carry-on baggage for explosives residue—improving explosives detection capabilities at airports nationwide while infusing Recovery Act dollars into local economies. TSA has expanded the random use of explosives trace detection technology—which can also be used to screen the hands of passengers or their clothing—as part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen aviation security at U.S. airports and around the world since the attempted terrorist attack on Dec. 25, 2009.

On April 11, Secretary Napolitano met with African security officials in Abuja, Nigeria, resulting in a joint declaration to strengthen the international civil aviation system. This meeting built on several recent major international meetings in which Secretary Napolitano has participated that have resulted in similar statements—coordinated with the International Civil Aviation Organization—among the United States and Asia/Pacific partners on March 13, among the United States and Western Hemisphere partners on Feb. 17, and among the United States and European partners on Jan. 21.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.

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