What changes are being made to check pilot certificates to find potential threats to national security? That’s a question members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation want answered.
Citing press reports that weaknesses in the current vetting system allow individuals who may be national security threats to retain their pilot’s licenses, four senators have asked the FAA and the Department of Homeland Security to report on the current system and the changes planned.
In a letter to the two agencies, the senators questioned the coordination system to revoke licenses of potentially dangerous individuals. “We have been informed of recent interagency agreements between the TSA and FAA of a new process under which the TSA would assume responsibility for conducting security threat assessments of Airmen Certificate Holders,” the letter said.
Saying they understood the two agencies are working with other agencies to reevaluate current vetting systems, the senators said they want to know about the administration’s efforts to incorporate the use of biometric identifiers in either the airmen certificate or Watch List data bases.
The agreement between FAA and TSA is to be completed within the next 90 days. What these changes are and how they will affect holders of airmen certificates and how they will be phased in are questions the senators want answered.