If the challenges we’ve faced over the past 18 months have taught us anything, it’s that it takes a village to combat threats to security and critical infrastructure at home and worldwide. The pandemic has shown us that the success and efficiency of developments in science and technology really do rely on diplomatic and international partnerships. In truth, COVID-19 or natural disasters or, unfortunately, bad actors, aren’t constrained by borders. In order to effectively counter, prepare for, respond to, and mitigate these threats, it is critical that governments and international organizations work together.
This week, we did just that with our colleagues from the Republic of South Korea (ROK). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) joined forces with the ROK Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) to pilot new aviation security technology, called the Common Viewer Air System (CVAS). Officials from both agencies signed a letter of intent detailing our willingness to conduct a joint test of CVAS, which will allow international airports to more readily share pre-screening information and secure the international travel space. The virtual signing ceremony and the ensuing pilot later this summer underscore the value of global partnerships in science and technology.
South Korea is a global leader in research and development, and because of MOLIT’s broad structure and vast R&D efforts, the ministry emerged as an obvious partner in 2019. It is always exciting to partner with like-minded global science agencies and organizations whose scope and mission matches S&T’s own. One of our core research mission areas is aviation security; not only will CVAS and this new partnership make international travel more secure, but they will also streamline overall passenger experience and checkpoint screening processes at both Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Incheon International Airport outside Seoul.
Information sharing is critical to the success of security protocols across countries. CVAS will give the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and MOLIT the ability to process incoming international travelers more quickly and efficiently. The objective is to leverage transit time to screen and adjudicate checked baggage images prior to arrival in the United States, which will maximize resources, limit person-to-person contact, and result in a more efficient arrival process for travelers. S&T, TSA, CBP and MOLIT will conduct the CVAS pilot in Atlanta later in the summer.
The CVAS virtual signing ceremony has opened the door to future collaboration between the United States and ROK. This emerging partnership has immense growth potential and incredible value to the aviation and broader international security sectors.
Tomorrow, we will publish a new feature article highlighting CVAS and several additional ongoing R&D efforts with our global counterparts, including the United Kingdom, Australia and more. Follow S&T News online and on social media at @DHSSciTech for updates and learn more about all of our international partnerships!