Today CCHS released a new report that I wrote entitled “Risk-Based Security and the Aviation System: Operational Objectives and Policy Challenges”, which looks at the current challenges facing TSA’s risk-based security initiative (most notably, the PreCheck program) as it considers new options to increase program enrollment. We also held an event this morning on the event that included a very robust discussion of the issues raised in the paper. I won’t try to summarize the paper here, but you can download the full PDF at this link.
In related news, the Washington Post reports today on a letter from a bipartisan groups of Senators calling for the White House to put forward a new nominee to lead TSA. As the letter notes, it has already been more than three months since John Pistole announced his departure from TSA, which should have been sufficient time to identify and vet his potential successor. Former TSA Administrator Kip Hawley concurred with the letter’s perspective in a tweet this afternoon, and offered a strong endorsement of Acting TSA Administrator Mel Carraway:
http://t.co/DGDWKPTaQd Either get trusted person to really run TSA or empower Acting Mel Carraway. MC is mature, thoughtful, trustworthy.
— Kip Hawley (@kiphawley) January 27, 2015
Hopefully this is something that the White House will decide upon soon. TSA suffered from a lack of clear strategic direction during an 18-month period of acting leadership in 2009-2010, and finding a high-quality individual to nominate to lead TSA should be a priority.