SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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DEPLOYMENT AND USE OF SECURITY TECHNOLOGY
TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
OCTOBER 11, 2001
Printed for the use of the
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
DON YOUNG, Alaska, Chairman
THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin, Vice-Chair
SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT, New York
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
STEPHEN HORN, California
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN L. MICA, Florida
JACK QUINN, New York
VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio
SUE W. KELLY, New York
RICHARD H. BAKER, Louisiana
ROBERT W. NEY, Ohio
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana
JOHN R. THUNE, South Dakota
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
JERRY MORAN, Kansas
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
MICHAEL K. SIMPSON, Idaho
JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
MIKE ROGERS, Michigan
SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West Virginia
MARK STEVEN KIRK, Illinois
HENRY E, BROWN, Jr., South Carolina
TIMOTHY V. JOHNSON, Illinois
BRIAN D. KERNS, Indiana
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCDENNIS R. REHBERG, Montana
TODD RUSSELL PLATTS, Pennsylvania
MIKE FERGUSON, New Jersey
SAM GRAVES, Missouri
C.L. (BUTCH) OTTER, Idaho
MARK R. KENNEDY, Minnesota
JOHN ABNEY CULBERSON, Texas
BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
JOHN BOOZMAN, Arkansas
JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
WILLIAM O. LIPINSKI, Illinois
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
CORRINE BROWN, Florida
JAMES A. BARCIA, Michigan
BOB FILNER, California
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas
FRANK MASCARA, Pennsylvania
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCGENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
JUANITA MILLENDER-McDONALD, California
ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, Maryland
EARL BLUMENAUER, Oregon
MAX SANDLIN, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
BILL PASCRELL, JR., New Jersey
LEONARD L. BOSWELL, Iowa
JAMES P. McGOVERN, Massachusetts
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
NICK LAMPSON, Texas
JOHN ELIAS BALDACCI, Maine
MARION BERRY, Arkansas
BRIAN BAIRD, Washington
SHELLEY BERKLEY, Nevada
BRAD CARSON, Oklahoma
JIM MATHESON, Utah
MICHAEL M. HONDA, California
RICK LARSEN, Washington
SUBCOMMITTEE ON AVIATION
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JOHN L. MICA, Florida, Chairman
THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
STEPHEN HORN, California
JACK QUINN, New York
VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama
SUE W. KELLY, New York
RICHARD H. BAKER, Louisiana
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana, Vice Chairman
JOHN R. THUNE, South Dakota
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
JERRY MORAN, Kansas
MICHAEL K. SIMPSON, Idaho
JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
MARK STEVEN KIRK, Illinois
TIMOTHY V. JOHNSON, Illinois
DENNIS R. REHBERG, Montana
SAM GRAVES, Missouri
MARK R. KENNEDY, Minnesota
JOHN ABNEY CULBERSON, Texas
BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN BOOZMAN, Arkansas
DON YOUNG, Alaska
WILLIAM O. LIPINSKI, Illinois
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas
LEONARD L. BOSWELL, Iowa
JOHN ELIAS BALDACCI, Maine
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
CORRINE BROWN, Florida
JUANITA MILLENDER-McDONALD, California
MAX SANDLIN, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
BILL PASCRELL, JR., New Jersey
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
NICK LAMPSON, Texas
SHELLEY BERKLEY, Nevada
BRAD CARSON, Oklahoma
JIM MATHESON, Utah
MICHAEL M. HONDA, California
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
Garvey, Jane F., Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration
Mead, Kenneth M., Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation
Muntz, Frederick F., Vice President, Invision Technologies, Inc.
O'Bryon, James F., Deputy Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, Live Fire Testing, Department of Defense
Paresi, Joseph S., President, Security Systems Division, L-3 Communications Inc.
Sheridan, Ralph S., President and CEO, American Science and Engineering, Inc.
Williamson, Peter C., Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Rapiscan Security Products, Inc.
PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Boswell, Hon. Leonard L., of Iowa
Johnson, Hon. Eddie Bernice, of Texas
Lipinski, Hon. William O., of Illinois
Matheson, Hon. Jim, of Utah
Oberstar, Hon. James L., of Minnesota
Thune, Hon. John R., of South Dakota
PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY WITNESSES
Garvey, Jane F
Mead, Kenneth M
Muntz, Frederick F
Paresi, Joseph S
Sheridan, Ralph S
Williamson, Peter C
ADDITIONS TO THE RECORD
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Airline Suppliers Association, statement
Davis, Kim C., statement
Federal Aviation Administration, Suzanne Sullivan, Senior Advisor to the Administrator, response to a question from Rep. Cooksey
Ingersoll-Rand Company, James J. Scott, President, Security and Safety Solutions, statement
SITA, Catherine Mayer, Senior Director Industry Relations, statement
X-Ray Equipment Co., Keith W. Carter, Sales Manager, Imaging and Security Systems, statement
DEPLOYMENT AND USE OF SECURITY TECHNOLOGY
Thursday, October 11, 2001
House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Aviation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Washington, D.C.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:03 a.m., in Room 2167, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. John L. Mica [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.
Mr. MICA. Good morning. I would like to call this hearing of the Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee to order.
Today we have two panels, and a second part of the second panel's session will be closed. We will have statements by the Administrator of FAA and the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation, and then we will recess to 2253 for that portion of the hearing.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The order of business today will be opening statements by members, and then we will get to our first panel. Let me start, and I have an opening statement.
Today's hearing will focus on the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration to deploy aviation security technology. Just as FAA has failed for 6 years to adopt rules to strengthen qualifications for airport security screeners, it has also neglected to require the latest screening security technology at our Nation's airport. The airport security screening and detection process is only as good as the rules in place.
On September 11th, just 1 month ago, there were no rules in place to ban box cutters. Box cutters passed through screening technology without restrictions. FAA failed to ban box cutters. I bought one of these today. And we must remember that in the highjacking that took place there were no rules that prohibited these box cutters.
Further, on September 11th it is believed that highjackers passed through airport security checkpoints with plastic knives. Unfortunately, screening detection technology required by FAA does not detect plastic weapons.
This is a plastic knife, and my aide brought this back last night from Florida. We do not have technology in place that will detect this plastic knife. This is a box cutter. There were no rules that prohibited box cutters. These are the two weapons we believe that were used in the tragedy that occurredunspeakable tragedy 1 month ago.
Unfortunately, screening detection technology required by FAA does not detect plastic weapons. We have scanning equipment that will identify plastic and other materials. However, FAA has not required that technology to be deployed.
With 1970s screening technology that has limited detection and definition capabilities, we could in fact employ Ph.Ds. Individuals with doctorates in criminal justice still could not have succeeded in detecting these devices.
The history of government acquisition of airport security technology is not a pretty picture. After the 1996 crash of TWA 800 and the Oklahoma City attack, the Federal Government launched an aggressive acquisition program with huge deployment of new technology to detect explosives. I am sad to report that today, despite spending billions of dollars on the program and almost half a billion dollars since on explosive detection equipment, the reports that we have received to date indicate that this program has in fact been badly bungled. The public would be shocked to find out how few of the new weapon detection machines have been operating at our Nation's airport.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC At least 23 additional machines are collecting dust in a warehouse. Some of the machines are being warehoused despite the fact that FAA certified them and in spite of the fact that they don't work well.
Perhaps the most outrageous finding is the fact that machines that are at our airports have been used only a fraction of the time.
Let me reiterate my strong belief about what should guide us in making policy subsequent to September 11th.
First, we must understand that our intelligence capability failed and rectifying this vulnerability must be in fact our first priority. However, this subcommittee has the responsibility to evaluate the known and well-documented weaknesses in our aviation security system and make changes to fix those problems now. The FAA needs to cooperate in understanding where the risks remain and what needs to be done to address those vulnerabilities.
We must in fact fully utilize equipment that is already deployed. Certainly, we have an obligation to the taxpayer and the traveling public, at a minimum, to utilize equipment already acquired and in place.
Previous testimony indicates that, on average, these million dollar machines are screening about the same number of bags in one day as they could screen in fact in one hour. This is not an acceptable use of the machines we spent hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase. Nor is it acceptable from a public safety perspective.
The Inspector General has asked the FAA since 1998 to more effectively utilize the explosive detection equipment already deployed. Even after that, however, in subsequent reports we discovered that the FAA then set a goal of better utilization by 2004. Again, this is unacceptable.
Now, I am aware that subsequent to the September 11th tragedy the FAA has thrown out a blanket requirement to use these machines more frequently. But again, in order to use these machines effectively, we should be evaluating the risk and utilizing the technology to address the highest risk target. That goal is still not being met.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Another technology which I am concerned has not been fully utilized is the threat image projection software. Again, it is bothersome that the FAA has been urged in fact to fully implement TIP since the Gore Commission made its recommendation in 1996. This is a very critical technology which can be used to train and also to monitor the performance of screeners. It is more important today as Congress decides how best to create a screening function that can be in fact held accountable.
Unfortunately, we have sophisticated security detection software which is absolutely critical for monitoring screener performance but, for reasons not clear to me, FAA still has not yet set a standard using TIP to hold screeners and screening companies accountable.
TIP equipment provides an important screening oversight and quality control function. Why has use of that equipment languished?
Regarding the central debate of whether we should hire 28,000 new employees, I want to bring to the attention of my colleaguesand I won't read it at this timea Washington Post article this week. The article evaluates screening systems of the rest of the world and essentially points out that our European counterparts have a system of strong federal oversight but prefer to use private companies and actually they do use, for the most part, private companies for the screening. If staff would distribute that during the hearing.
We must invest in the latest, most effective technology. We have technologyand you can see some of this technology; we'll hear a little bit more about itthat can detect plastic weaponsthis is a plastic knifealso plastic guns, ceramicand equipment that really can be set to find other types of material that can be molded into weapons.
In addition to using the equipment we have already purchased, the FAA has the responsibility to evaluate new technologies which are better suited to minimizing risk.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As the previous chair of the Criminal Justice, Drug Policy Subcommittee, I had the opportunity to see a variety of detection technologies utilized at our borders and airports by a variety of law enforcement agencies. In fact, the United States Customs Service has had technology which can detect plastic knives and other weapons deployed since 1999. Why is the FAA so far behind the curve? I urge the FAA to look at these existing technologies that can, in fact, detect plastic knives and other weapons not detectable by current equipment.
While I have heard the arguments about privacy concerns, we must begin to balance the need for security against other interests.
In conclusion, today our subcommittee must carefully examine several vital questions relating to aviation and airport security.
First, why has Federal policy and rulemaking relating to airport security technology failed?
Second, why is it so difficult for the Federal Government to acquire the best air security technology?
Third, why is the Federal Government negligent in deploying the best aviation security technology?
Fourth, why has the best aviation security technology for detection and oversight been tested and not fully deployed?
And, last, it is important to note that the Federal Government and its employees and Congress have failed; and, in turn, we have left our Nation vulnerable. We can and we must do better.
With that opening statement, let me yield to our ranking member, Mr. Lipinski.
Mr. LIPINSKI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing today.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In the interest of time, I will keep my statement short.I do, however, want to say a few words about underutilization of explosives detection systems.
These EDS machines, while they are made by InVision, by L-3 Communications or by any other company, are very important in the effort to ensure that terrorists do not have a big opening in our security system through which to destroy our planes. Therefore, it is disconcerting to me that, for whatever reason, we are not using the technology currently available to us. I urge all partiesthe government, the airlines, the airports, and the companies that make the EDS machinesto work together in an expedited manner to fix whatever has delayed the full utilization of these vital machines.
Instead of pointing fingers and placing blame as to why machines sit in warehouses for 6 to 8 months, for the sake of the American flying public let us get our act together. In addition, we should build on current technology and find a way to make these machines better, smaller and cheaper so that we can outfit them in every airport around the country.
Again, Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding these hearings today. I think they are very important hearings.
And I have to say, adding to my opening statement, that many of the statements that have been made, that you and I disagree with, and I think that some of that will come out later on in the hearing. Thank you.
Mr. MICA. Thank you.
Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Chairman, I don't want to make a lengthy formal statement. I will just say that I appreciate your calling this very important hearing. You have done a good job of summarizing the situation and expressing the concerns that all of us have about the costs and the delays. Because of the horrible events of a few weeks ago, all of us are going to have to do better quicker and in a more cost-effective efficient way. That is a very difficult thing for any gigantic or very large bureaucracy to do, but we are going to have to find a way to do it. So this hearing will hopefully help us do that.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MICA. Thank you.
Mr. HONDA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and thank you for having this hearing. I will make my comments brief also.
I want to thank some of the folks I work with in Silicon Valley. On September 28th we had a roundtable discussion with those folks in technology, and they made some wonderful suggestions. They had technologies that they thought could be applicable to this subject, and I would like to submit that to you, Mr. Chairman, if I may, off line here. But there were a good number of folks that did show up, like InVision, SGI, Ingersoll Rand, just to name a few.
Mr. Matheson and I have submitted a bill that will create the standards that, Mr. Chair, you had talked about. You asked the question about standards and technology, and our bill will ask NIST to look at the various technologies that are existing and develop standards for application of security not only in our airports but other transportation modes. We are looking at probably 20 pilots projects at airports to take part in this effort.
I agree with the Chair and the ranking member that we do have to do something, that we don't have the time to look for blame, but I think that we have time and the duty to find a solution to our concerns. And that is where I would like to spend my time. I hope that our bill will bring some attention to creating standards so that we can start to apply very specifically these technologies that already exist.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MICA. Thank the gentleman.
Mr. HORN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
This is worthwhile, looking at the some of the options. Do we know from the Department of Transportation whether we should send these things to the Secretary or to the head of the FAA? Do we have any guidance on that?
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MICA. To send what? I am sorry. I didn't get the first part of your question.
Mr. HORN. Are we to send these good ideas to the Secretary of Transportation or to the head of the FAA?
Mr. MICA. Well, both. We will have testifyingI am sure she is listening right nowthe head of FAA. So hopefully some of that is being absorbed. I guarantee if we ask for a show of hands you have a lot of Department of Transportation folks out there.
Mr. HORN. Okay. Thank you.
Mr. MICA. Mr. DeFazio.
Mr. DEFAZIO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I would agree with the summary of your statement in part, which is the Federal Government and Congress did fail. But there was a huge and glaring omission in that very lengthy opening statement which is why did we fail?
We failed because of the absolutely relentless pressure from the airlines, the Air Transport Association, and the private security firms who are now newly organized with a very effective lobby who are supplying a great information to one side of this debate, with a former senior FAA official who couldn't see fit to implement some of these things while he was there but now he can earn tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars representing these same private security firms who have failed us miserably in every report.
Some want to perpetuate that system because it was security on the cheap, and a number of us for years have said we are buying insecurity. I introduced my first bill on this issue in 19871987. And it didn't fail because it wasn't good policy, or it wasn't something we needed to do, or even something people in the FAA wanted to do. It was because of the relentless lobbying pressure from the airlines, the private security firms, the ATA, the airports and other special interests.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You cannot ignore that, Mr. Chairman, and you have in your opening statement. This is not just a failure of government. It is a failure of government because government responds to pressure and influence, as does Congress, and they did.
We all knew that we could have done better. For my part, I wonder if maybe I could have tried just a little bit harder and been a little bit louder and more of a jerk on this committee over the years and maybe get some of these things done.
Let's talk about the things we need to do. Let's go forward with the best possible security package. We aren't talking about the fact that we don't even know how those knives got on. It's true that they wouldn't necessarily have been stopped or detected, but we don't even know if they went through the screening points. They may have been smuggled on board those planes. We don't know the answer to that.
We have got to look at everything that goes into that airport and how it gets into that airport. And we are told, gee, we can't screen all the baggage. We couldn't possibly do that. Well, every time I go to Hawaii every bag I carry is screened before I go to the check-in point. We should be requiring that in every airport in America. And we can do that. Yes, we will have to reconfigure the airports. Yes, it will slow things down a little bit. Yes, it will inconvenience people. Yes, it will be some expense. But, guess what? We could do it.
If we can do it in Hawaii just to find agricultural contraband from the millions of people who used to visit there, before this calamity, we can do it to find bombs and other things in their baggage and seal their baggage before they go up to the counter. We do that for agriculture.
Let's start talking about the solutions we need. Let's not get into idealogical battles over whether or not we can have more Federal employees because that is big government. Big government, yes, government failed in this case, in part because it wasn't quite big enough, it wasn't strong enough, it wasn't resistant enough to pressure others. And Congress failed, too. There is lots of blame to go around. Let's move forward, and let's get a bill.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I can't believeI tried toon the day we bailed out the airlines, I think it is 3 weeks ago now, I tried to include a minimum measure having to do with security and airline employees. I was told we couldn't do that. We won't take time to wait for that. We couldn't do that.
Well, here it is 3 weeks later. We still haven't done things to enhance security here in this Congress, and we still haven't done a damn thing for the employees. I am getting a little bit tired of it.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman.
Let me seeMr. LoBiondo, Mr. Hayes, Mr. Rehberg, Mr. Graves, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Boswell.
Mr. BOSWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just a short remark.
I appreciate you having this hearing. We have got to continue on. I appreciate what you and the ranking member are doing.
Just a short comment, and I would like to submit the rest of my comments for the record, but I am supporting federalizing the screeners as well. I have been working with others on this and understand that we have a bill being developed, and I appreciate your work on that. I hope we get to continue moving on it to get it going.
I also think that we ought to have these devices, I agree with you, that are in place, they are available in placethat is what I want to say, in place, so that we can have better security.
Lastly, I had planned on making a comment about the Speaker and Mr. Gephardt had a colloquy back several weeks ago aboutaddressing the employees that have been affected by this, and it hasn't happened. I would like the record to show we have brought that up here today. I think it is germane because the airline infusion started in this committee, and we worked it from here. We also brought it with the understanding that we would in fact address the needs of the employees that have been affected by this, and that is still pending.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would enlistrequest your support, Mr. Chairman and others here listening, that we ought to do something about that and the quicker the better.
Thank you very much. I would like to submit the rest of my statement for the record and save time.
Mr. MICA. Thank you. Without objection, your entire statement will be made part of the record.
Mr. COSTELLO. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Mr. Chairman, I will submit my statement for the record, but I would like to associate myself with the remarks of my colleague, Mr. Boswell.
Obviously, the issue that is holding this entire security package up is the issue of federalizing the screeners at our Nation's airports. I am absolutely convinced that we must takethe Federal Government must take responsibility for security in our Nation's airports away from the airlines and the contract employees. I don't know how we expect the FBI, the CIA and the other Federal professional law enforcement agencies to share sensitive information about potential terrorists with contract employees who are doing the screening at our Nation's airports and who are there for maybe 60 or 90 days before they move on to another job. So I would hope that we could resolve this issue and put professional law enforcement personnel as screeners at our Nation's airports; and, Mr. Chairman, I have expanded on that and other issues in my opening statement; and I will put it in the record.
Mr. MICA. Thank you. Without objection, your entire statement will be made part of the record.
Mr. PASCRELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I understand our apprehensions about the various matters we have to face in various committees on the Hill. But I think if we are going to facilitate and encourage a sense of security so that people feel that they can fly the skies again, we need to lower our voices and raise our commitments to act. If we become impatient with one another when we are talking about what happens when we get to an airport and when we walk through that airport, the public is not going to feel good about what we do, whatever we do. And unless we get people flying again that industry is going to be back in front of us in another 2 months looking for another $5 billion. Whether we like it or not, that is a fact of life.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Earlier this week the headlines in the media on aviation issues included an announcement from the FAA on new 3-ticketing regulations and a limit of carry-on baggage to one per passenger. I have the utmost confidence that the FAA has determined that these are steps that must be taken to reduce security risks. However, it is not just steps like these that will make the public feel better about flying a commercial airline.
If you are allowed only one bag, then that means that more bags will be going under the plane; and we perhaps should be talking about limiting the amount of baggage you can take on a plane, regardless of where it is. We have people who travel in this country who I believe have their bedroom sets on their back. They have so many bags. And we have all witnessed, in practicality, near concussions in trying to get them into the bins. So I think maybe we should simply limit period what we can take on an airplane, regardless of where it is going to go. I think that we should utilize the advanced technology which is available more places so that this influx of baggage will be dealt with adequately.
I think a key piece of getting the public back in the air is to assure them that we are screening more baggage with the state-of-the-art technology. And we need to communicate this, we need to promulgate this if we want to get people up in the air.
Because the travel even this past week, when more flights are taking off throughout this great land, is still 40 and 50 percent below. The airlines are not going to survive. So if we want to have them back in front of us very shortly for the next go aroundand I don't know what the sense of that would be and yet this is so critical to our economywe better act and act wisely and listen to one another. Because when the American people see that we are listening, they will feel even more secure.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MICA. Mrs. Johnson.
Mrs. JOHNSON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thanks to you for your leadership and the ranking member.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It is my desire and hope that we can move rather expeditiously, although I know that to do it well we can't rush too much, but the sooner we come to some kind of conclusion and move it the better the airline industry will be.
I recognize that this comes upon us at a time when all of us are still emotionally out of shape for dealing with it, but we have to. I sit on another subcommittee on the Science Committee and the Research Committee where I hope we can bring technology and the private industry and government together, because I believe that there is available technology to improve all of what we are doing, including guiding planes by controllers on the ground to guide them to safety so that they are not likely to hit major structures.
I hope I can be of some help in trying to move along, because this is fairly urgently needed. I understand the sticky point might be federalization of the screeners or whatever. Clearly, no matter whether it is Federal or not, they need to be upgraded in terms of training and skill.
So I will file the rest of my statement and thank you very much for remaining diligent in attempting to solve these problems. Thank you.
Mr. MICA. Ms. Berkeley.
Ms. BERKLEY. I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman and ranking member, for holding this meeting. I think it is a very important one.
I was very supportive of the airline package. I still am. I think it was an important thing to do.
I would like to associate myself with Mr. Boswell's remarks that I am a little dismayed that we have done nothing for the workers that were laid off in the airline industry. I think that they need our help, and they are entitled to it. I am not sure what the delay is, but I think it is beyond unfortunate. It is unforgivable for this country not to do something and do something quickly.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I think it is imperative that people feel safe on airplanes. The economy of my district, Las Vegas, depends on the American public overcoming its fear of flying; and currently the Las Vegas economy, while it is rebounding, it certainly is well below normal. I have thousands and tens of thousands of casino and hotel employees laid off because there is no business because people still don't feel safe. So I think it is my obligation here on this committee to make sure we pass a meaningful legislation that helps the flying public feel comfortable enough to get back on those planes and resume normal life and normal leisure activities as best as they can.
We have an obligation to make sure that our airports are equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and explosive detection technology. This technology simply must be the best and the highest quality that we can create.
In addition to the deployment of the best technologies, workers must be provided with extensive training. Machines and devices are only as effective as the people who manage them. And the FAA must outline a set of standards for training and must evaluate the screeners to ensure that the technology is being utilized properly and to its fullest extent.
We also need to assure the public that the screening devices and those working the devices can detect weapons or bombs in the baggage. I cannot tell you how many people have mentioned that to me over the course of the last month.
I am looking to forward to hearing the testimony of all the witnesses on how we can improve the screening process and the technologies that are available for our airports. I have got the sixth busiest airport in the United States in Las Vegas, and we are anxious to do whatever we need to do to ensure the safety of the flying public, not just tell them it is safe, because I would never forgive myself if I mislead people, but actually make it safe enough that Inot only would I continue traveling back and forth, which I continue to do, but that my children and my parents would also feel safe enough to fly.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you very much.
Mr. MICA. I thank the gentlelady.
I believe that concludes our opening statements. No further requests. We will proceed with our first panel.
Our first panel of witnesses today consists of Mr. James O'Bryon, who is the Deputy Director of Operational Test and Evaluation of Live Fire Testing in the Department of Defense. Next, we have Frederick M. Muntz; and he is Vice President of InVision technologies. Mr. Joseph F. Paresi, and he is President of the Security Systems Division of L-3 Communications Corporation; Mr. Peter Williamson, Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Marketing of Rapiscan security Products; and Mr. Ralph Sheridan, President and CEO of American Science and Engineering.
TESTIMONY OF JAMES F. O'BRYON, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, OPERATIONAL TEST AND EVALUATION, LIVE FIRE TESTING, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; FREDERICK F. MUNTZ, VICE PRESIDENT, INVISION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.; JOSEPH S. PARESI, PRESIDENT, SECURITY SYSTEMS DIVISION, L-3 COMMUNICATIONS INC.; PETER C. WILLIAMSON, VICE PRESIDENT, WORLDWIDE SALES AND MARKETING, RAPISCAN SECURITY PRODUCTS, INC.; AND RALPH S. SHERIDAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, AMERICAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, INC.
Mr. MICA. I am going to call first on Mr. Peter Williamson, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Rapiscan, for his opening statement.
If you have anything more than a 5-minute presentation, we request that it be submitted for the record. We will be glad to do that upon requests through the Chair.
Mr. Williamson, you are recognized; and welcome.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Thank you, Chairman Mica, members of the subcommittee. I thank you all for the opportunity to provide this testimony and ask that my full statement be inserted into the record.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Rapiscan Security Products is one of the world's leading suppliers of systems for the screening of luggage, mail, parcels, cargo and personnel. Our state-of-the-art systems utilize x-ray as well as electromagnetic pulse technology.
Many areas of aviation security have been changed since the unthinkable events of September 11th, although security screening has had minimal alterations, if any. The current screening process is much the same today as it was 4 weeks ago, offering a false sense of security to the flying public. The security protocol in place at most airports does not utilize the recent advances our industry has made to more effectively screen security threats. If we are to avoid future tragedies, short-term goals must be defined and implemented within the next few months.
Using a multi-layered approach, various technologies should be deployed. Performance standards for all security personnel must be enacted and enforced. All personnel, luggage and cargo entering an aircraft must be subjected to search. The first line of defense at standard checkpoint security locations should not be the only line of defense. Vigilant passenger screening must become a priority. Only then can we say airline security is improved and safer for the American public.
In the past few weeks there have been many discussions, both public and private, with regard to security screening personnel. Lost in this discussion is the technology currently in place to measure the performance of these people. Threat image projection, or TIP technology as we know it, was developed some 5 years ago. The advantages of TIP are numerous, one of those being that screeners can see ''projected'' threats every few minutes, providing quick performance feedback as well as motivation to stay alert.
TRX units, or TIP x-rays, are deployed at almost all category X and category 1 security checkpoints, although activation of the TIP software program is still in process. These TIP-ready x-rays must be activated immediately and utilized to measure and subsequently report detection performance. In addition, deployment schedules for category 2, 3 and 4 airports must be accelerated to standardize the entire system. Proposed rules and regulations must also be enacted to ensure the reporting data does not become just another piece of information.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC A great deal of debate regarding federalization of security screeners has been had in recent weeks. In the end, it will not matter who or what entity is in charge of the security screening personnel. The only matter of importance will be how well their detection performance is monitored and regulated.
This is an example of a standard bag as well as a piece of luggage with a threat image inserted on the right-hand side.
For many years, regulators in the United States and abroad have discussed and sometimes disagreed with the approach to screening checked luggage loaded onto an aircraft. Regardless of the approach, each has its own operational drawbacks that must be supplemented with another level of screening if we are to securitize all baggage entering the system.
Where does this leave us? With an immediate and operationally affective approach. TIP technology is not and should not be limited simply to checkpoint security. Larger TRX systems can be placed at check-in counters in every major international airport over the next 3 to 6 months. Not only will this approach ensure that every piece of luggage is searched, it will also serve to establish universal standards for detection performance at all levels of the baggage screening process. Given the maturity level of the technology, we foresee no limitations or restrictions on through-put levels, which is substantiated by airports worldwide who have used this model for years.
We believe that TRX-checked baggage systems are one part of a comprehensive, layered security program, which will also include the continued use of explosives detection systems, or EDS as they are known, in conjunction with profiling and bag matching. Explosives detection systems can also be used to resolve alarms on the TRX-checked baggage systems. The same model can also be used to address cargo screening for items ranging in size from one pound to small cargo pallets.
We have all come to realize there is no silver bullet. No single machine offers a solution to the challenges we face. This should not preclude us however from implementing a multi-layered program that minimizes our risk.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This is one that you have seen on the board for a little while which indicates the Glock 17, ceramic knife, and an explosive simulant.
The terrorist threat is changing and growing. Therefore, it is important to improve all aspects of security, not just the conventional areas of concern such as baggage. Currently, passenger screening at all airports is limited to metal detectors. High-quality metal detectors are available and in use at some airports, although they cannot detect the full range of threats which may be carried by an individual. There is only one technology commercially available today that can disclose all types of contraband concealed on people's bodies, even under clothing and hair, including ceramic and plastic weapons and explosives, not only metallic items. These devices, known as body scanners, utilize a minute dose of radiation to create images representative of persons and contraband.
Rapiscan believes that body scanning is another part of a comprehensive, layered security program. Based on readily available informationprofiling, trace detection and metal detection alarmspassengers could be separated into smaller groups who merit additional attention. For those subjected to body scans, a ''same gender'' security officer should be assigned to perform the image analysis. In fact, passengers should be offered the choice between a body pat-down or a body scan. The U.S. customs service has used this approach successfully for the past 2 years.
We fully realize there are groups who oppose the use of such a device, and we understand the importance of the right to privacy in today's society, although we consider the right to feel safe and secure within our borders to be equally important.
With an aggressive deployment schedule, body scanning systems can be placed in every major international airport over the next 6 to 9 months. These systems will have an immediate impact on increasing the security process as we know it today.
This will give you an example of the type of threat items which are detected by the Secure 1000 but not necessarily by traditional security means.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In conclusion, since U.S. airlines are seen as national symbols, the threat of attack remains high. For this reason, we must deploy available technologies to reduce the risk we face. We know we cannot make the world risk free, but we must protect our citizens, their values and the country's economic strength to the best of our ability. The technology is available today and to not utilize it to the fullest extent possible would be simply irresponsible on all of our parts.
I thank you for this testimony and would be available for questions.
Mr. MICA. Thank you. We will withhold questions until we have heard from all the witnesses.
I want to recognize next Mr. Ralph Sheridan. He is president and CEO of American Science and Engineering.
Welcome, sir, and you are recognized.
Mr. SHERIDAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We are here today because, since the Cold War, we have played the role of global policemen, but we haven't protected the police station. We have addressed aviation security with a discounted theory that said well-trained, well-financed terrorists would not give their lives in mass to accomplish their mission. This is despite the fact that the Hart-Rudman study had identified and defined an absolute vulnerability of this country to sophisticated terrorism.
We are here today because we have lost the public trust in aviation security, and we are trying to develop strategies that will regain that public trust.
We need an approach that mirrors the fail-safe used in the nuclear regulatory industry. The reason we haven't is because we denied that the threat could have the consequencethe magnitude of the consequence that we saw on September 11th. It was a plane, 200 to 300 passengers, but no one thought of the consequences in terms of human life, the 5,000 plus people, or the consequences to the economy. Therefore, we weren't willing to match dollars in terms of spending for equipment and for R&D against that threat.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Historically, we have had a theory of deterrence, not detection. The way we are handling checked baggage in this country is that less than one in 10,000 checked bags are scanned. Why? Because the belief is that no terrorist would give their life in committing their act of terrorism so they are not going to bring a bomb on the plane and blow it up. I think we all realize that is a failed strategy.
What is our credibility? Why is American Science and Engineering here? We have the technology called Z Backscatter. It is unique in its ability to see organic material. Organic material includes plastic explosive. We have been tested time and again by the Capitol Police, by the FBI, by the Secret Service, by the Thunder Mountain Evaluation Center out at Fort Huachuca and proven superior over dual energy x-rays in finding sophisticated terrorist devices that are built to evade normal transmission x-rays.
So we support 30 plus Federal agencies of this government. We have all the entrances to the Capitol, we protect the President, some 50 regional offices of the FBI, some 30 regional offices of the DEA, the CIA, some 90 plus embassies; and we are used by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in protecting high-threat events such as the Olympics, such as the U.N. 50th Anniversary and the Democratic and Republican national conventions, again, because of the superior capability of backscatter.
But we are not in aviation today. As the president of a company, I exited aviation in the mid-1990s. Why? There was a posit of funding for R&D. The FAA at that time had chosen CT as their silver bullet technology for checked baggage. There was also this strategy of deterrence that said we weren't going to spend unless we really perceived the threat was real, and so it was hard to invest in a strategy for airline safety when the airlines didn't want the equipment. And they testifiedthe airline executives testified to this during the Gore Commission hearings. They said, no plane has fallen out of the sky since Pan Am 103, December 21, 1988. The system works pretty good enough. Don't put additional burdens on us.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The New York Port Authority police on November 10th of last year conducted a test at JFK airport. They took 8 feet of dead cord, a half a pound of C-4 and syntec simulant. They put it through every system at JFK airport. Our system happens to be with U.S. Customs for arrivals looking for drugs and scanning incoming mail for explosives. We found all three. None of the dual energy systems provided by four different manufacturers found any of the explosives, and it took the InVision system four attempts to find the C-4.
Now this is kind of interesting because the InVision technology is pretty good. I tested this with one of the defense contractors that is responsible for installing the InVision technology; and he said, yeah, it is about a 25 percent effective rate. Why is that? It is because we run the InVision system too fast. We takeit takes about eight one-centimeter slices of a bag which is about three inches of a 30-inch bag. So that is part of the problem.
Now, from a strategy perspective, why haven't we done better? One of chairman Mica's questions. Well, the arguments are we can't be too expensive, we can't use too much space in the airport, it can't be too complex because we can't rely on the scanning personnel because we all know how bad they are and they are only here for 6 months, and it can't compromise traveler convenience or traveler modesty, an objection that was raised during the Gore Commission about using body scanning technology that both Rapiscan and American Science and Engineering deploy.
I think after the events of September 11th the traveling public would vote for security over modesty.
Now, where can we do better? Passengers scanning. Today plastic knives, explosives are undetected by metal detectors. Both Rapiscan and ourselves have technology that would address that. Carry-on. TIP is a good program, but if the dual energy systems are repeatedly compromised by the Red Teams inputting explosives through them, then TIP in and of itself is not the answer. It is just a way to train operators with the technologies that are available.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I think we need to supplement carry-on with backscatter x-ray technology and all bags should be tested with trace, but not the way we do it today. Trace in scanning the outside of a bag relies on the theory of a sloppy bomber contaminating the bag. That is the village idiot theory. We are talking about sophisticated terrorists. So, therefore, let's open up the bag and let's identify what is the most likely threat object and let's swab that. That then makes trace more effective.
In the case of checked baggage, the InVision technology is very good, but it is deliberately run too fast because of the mandate to hit 450 bags an hour. Slow it down, use it as the level 2, the way it should be used.
So I am proposing three levels: a front end, and I would recommend double-sided backscatter, which is used by the Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Air Force for all their overseas flights. Then the InVision system. And resolve all of the alarms by using trace with an open bag.
In terms of air cargo, during the Gore Commission again the airline executives said there hasn't been a bomb in cargo, so let's not address that. I have repeatedly gone to the FAA and what they have told me is we are going to have a ''know your shipper'' program. We can't afford to put in x-ray equipment. Well, that system of know your shipper is a very limited program, not well executed. What we have here is strategies of convenience.
The people at the FAA are very committed to public security, but they are a little bit twisted in their own underwear because of all the pressures that are placed upon thempressures from this committee, pressures from the airlines, pressures from the traveling public.
What do I recommend? I think the issues, there are four.
One is time. Time is against us. We have to do something immediately to deploy existing technologies to restore public trust. We also have to understand that, whatever we do, the terrorists are going to look for the vulnerabilities. So we have to continue to invest in technology to make those systems more robust. If we have to throw out all the systems in 3 years the way we do personal computers today and that provides us with better security because we put in the new advances, absolutely we should do that.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In terms of technology, I agree with Mr. Williamson. There is no silver bullet technology. What we need is an integrated gauntlet of technologies working together.
I think we need imagination. We need a surge in new thinking about terrorist strategies and imagination in deploying equipment.
And, finally, no technology can be successful without good people. Regardless what this committee decides on, whether it is federalized or privatized, you need people who have an attitude, an aptitude and a commitment to security. Without that, the best investment you can make in technology will fail.
Mr. MICA. Thank you for your testimony.
We will now hear from Mr. Frederick F. Muntz, and he is Vice President of InVision Technologies Inc.
Welcome, sir; and you are recognized.
Mr. MUNTZ. Thank you, Chairman Mica, Ranking Member Lipinski and members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation. Thank you for inviting InVision to participate in today's hearing on the deployment and use of security technology.
It is indeed with heavy heart that I am here today representing some 350 InVision employees in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11. All of us at InVision are committed to providing the aviation community the finest products and services available to combat terror. In specific, my testimony will examine a critical vulnerability which can and must be secure: the induction of explosive devices through checked baggage.
As far back as 1987, scientists at a small San Francisco Bay Area company named Imatron were working with advanced computed axial tomography, or CAT, scan technology to determine its applicability in the detection of explosives. While CAT scans were used successfully in medical applications for more than a decade, the early pioneers in explosives detection systems, or EDS, looked to one aspect of CAT scan data that did not live up to its promise in medicine.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The use of computed tomography, or CT, numbers to qualify density characteristics of the measured material proved a key element in automatically identifying explosive materials. Using the cross-sectional images produced, sophisticated computer algorithms were able to analyze the data and determine the presence of material that could potentially be an explosive or part of an explosive device.
Then, much like Tuesday, September 11th, terrorists struck. A terrorist's bomb, boarded through checked baggage, downed PanAm Flight 103. This tragedy pointed out a vulnerability that must be secured.
The ensuing Aviation Security Act of 1990 required the Federal Aviation Administration to identify, develop and certify a technology capable of detecting all classes of explosives that pose a threat to civil aviation. The FAA and the National Academy of Sciences reviewed technologies and the requirements for an EDS and determined that computer tomography was a proven technology capable of meeting or exceeding the strict and challenging certification standards it established.
To meet the challenge of aviation security and the application of CT technology, InVision Technologies was formed in September 1990. As a small, private, commercial company, InVision relied on the investment of its corporate founders and FAA grants to develop the first certified EDS in 1994.
In total, InVision has spent some $50 million of private equity funds to produce both the technology and, even more importantly, the corporate infrastructure necessary to thwart the threats of the introduction of explosives through checked baggage. Along with public funds administered by the FAA and commercial sales to foreign airports and airlines, the foundation of a formidable national resource took shape.
Initially, the FAA funded the procurement of five CTX 5000 SP units to install in a cooperative demonstration program with domestic airlines. This demonstration proved very successful. In fact, the first demonstration unit installed in 1995 was done so overnight behind the United Airlines ticket counter in the international terminal at the San Francisco airport with no disruption in service. Now the same airport boasts a brand-new international terminal outfitted with CTX systems that ensure computer-assisted passenger prescreening system, or CAPPS. Selected bags are screened with FAA certified CTX units. The original demonstration unit installed in 1995, now more than 6 years old, has been redeployed and put into operation at another United station.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Following the initial demonstration program, the FAA, airlines, airports, and other related stakeholders established the baseline working group. The BWG was charged to determine the most effective comprehensive deployment of counterterror technologies available to secure the largest and most dynamic aviation system in the world.
In the most profound of coincidences, that very day the BWG was established, tragedy struck again in the explosion of TWA 800. In the early days following the TWA 800 tragedy, it appeared almost certain that only a terrorist bomb could have created such a massive explosion and complete destruction. Regardless of the eventual determination of cause, TWA 800 served as a wakeup call to America that much work needed to be done to secure the traveling public.
While the Federal reaction to this tragedy fell short of an absolute mandate to use EDS equipment, a plan utilizing CAPPS and InVision's CTX system was initially funded as recommended by the Vice Presidential Commission on Aviation Safety and Security.
Christmas Eve 1996 marked the day that the viability of InVision as a national resource materialized in the form of a multiyear contract with the FAA to provide dozens of CTX systems to domestic airlines. As part of the initial deployment order from the FAA, InVision was required to move into expanded facilities and demonstrate a capability to manufacture in significant quantities. But from 1996 to Tuesday, September 11, our initial resolve to secure checked baggage was chipped away by competing needs and sporadic funding. In that period, however, InVision continued to invest heavily in research and development to make its products and services more airline friendly, operationally suitable and cost effective.
This was done at significant financial peril to the company. From time to time, the company had to downsize and make other corporate adjustments as the promise of a sustained requirement for its manufactured products waned, along with the memory of the TWA 800 wakeup call. At the same time, criminals were planning and experimenting with ways to attack our great country.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC While faced with uncertainty, InVision continued to make progress. To name but a few benchmarks of success in that period, InVision provided for the installation of more than 135 CTX systems domestically and over 250 worldwide. We reduced the cost of annual maintenance contracts by more than 40 percent. We reduced the number of alarms that required operator examination by one-half. And, in fact, today, over 70 percent of the bags examined by CTX systems are cleared to the plane automatically without any operator review at an extremely high confidence rate.
We introduced product upgrades funded solely by InVision. We produced the world's fastest EDS in the CTX 9000 DSi as measured in tests at the aviation FAA technical center in New Jersey. This product features the largest opening or belt width available to facilitate integration into baggage handling systems.
InVision self-funded and introduced a cost-reduced smaller product in the CTX 2500, most applicable to smaller airports and stations with reduced throughput requirements. And most recently InVision produced a certified version of software able to automatically detect threat quantities that are only 75 percent the size of the original certification requirement, in keeping with the latest intelligence information.
I think to address a statement made earlier about CTX products, it must be kept in mind that we are required by certification standards to detect explosives in very specific quantities, configurations as determined by the FAA that would pose a threat to civil aviation. All of our systems are tested both at the factory and in the field, and you can be assured that they meet those standards every day.
Now, without question, the landscape, the mission and our national response have changed forever. The fear of aviation terrorism that struck with PanAm 103 and was brought into focus by TWA 800 is now escalated by the events of September 11th and the declaration of outright war.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The importance of InVision's role as a national resource in the fight against terrorism has never been more palpable. While InVision's role in this war via the CTX family of products is essentially the security of checked baggage, only a part of the overall response required, it is a critical role and one that remains to be completed.
InVision, as a national resource, has earned its place in our country's arsenal to protect the flying public. The corporate infrastructure established, as required by the 1996 vice presidential commission is essentially intact. InVision continues to make at-risk purchases of long lead items and manufactures finished products in good faith and in anticipation that our government and the aviation community will continue to support a comprehensive response to terrorism.
InVision stands ready to serve. It is now time for our country to stabilize this critical national resource, address the checked baggage vulnerability once and for all, and provide for an accelerated, sustained rate of CTX installations in our Nation's airports.
Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman.
Let me recognize Mr. Joseph Paresi, President of the Security Systems Division of L-3 Communications Corporation.
Welcome. You are recognized.
Mr. PARESI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. Let me first say that I appreciate the purpose of this meeting.
I am Joe Paresi, President of L-3 Communications security systems division, which produces the eXaminer 6000 explosive detection system. I very much appreciate the opportunity to appear before the subcommittee today to discuss the topic of aviation security.
The office where I work looks out over the World Trade Center, and I personally witnessed the horrific events of September 11th. No one who witnessed that tragedy can ever be dismissive of the need for strength and security, not only for our aviation system, but also for our society at large. Though I know there are no silver bullets, as just pointed out, it is now clear to all of us that there is more that we can do and must do to combat the threat of terrorism to our free society.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Before highlighting some facts concerning the EDS we produce and offering a brief perspective on security in general, I would like to quickly offer some history on L-3 Communications and our entry into the EDS field.
L-3 Communications was founded in 1997 as a spin-off resulting from the merger of Lockheed Martin and Loral Corporations in 1996. L-3 was established as a high-tech product company to serve the Department of Defense and to consolidate the fragmented supplier base in the U.S. Due to massive prime consolidation and significantly reduced defense spending. L-3 has grown from an initial $500 million volume to $2.5 billion through internal growth and acquisition. Executives of L-3 include Frank Lanza and Robert LaPenta, the former Loral Corporation Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officers, respectively.
L-3 has grown steadily, acquiring a number of small corporations that are primarily involved in the defense field. In fact, 65 percent of L-3 Corporation's work is defense related. We do, however, produce a number of systems for the civil aviation sector as well, including, for example, collision avoidance systems, TCAS; advanced flight data recorders, black boxes; avionics displays; and air traffic control power systems.
Our work in the EDS field began in February of 1996 with a grant from the FAA to develop an advanced computer tomography system based on medical imagery technology that was far advanced over the first-generation explosive detection systems. The grant was made in partnership with General Electric and Analogic Corporations, world leaders in computer tomography systems, and was supplemented by significant corporate investment. The FAA provided a further grant to L-3 in November 1996 to accelerate the development of our system, which successfully passed FAA certification testing in November 1998.
Not only was this a significant achievement and advancement in technology in a relatively short span of time, but it also established a new benchmark for second-generation EDS performance that is still unmatched.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The L-3 approach is equivalent to having 24 parallel computer tomography systemsthe first of its kindwhich ensures that no potential threat object is overlooked. Although I cannot further detail the specifics of our system's capabilities in an open session, I can say with authority that the L-3 eXaminer 6000 is smaller, lighter, faster, and has a greater detection capability than any other certified EDS. We are continuing to work with the FAA to make the system better, while further reducing acquisition and operating costs.
Few would argue that competition is vital to achieving better products and customer value regardless of the line of business. In fact, we are hopeful that in succeeding fiscal years, FAA will move to a competitive buy between certified EDS manufacturers, acquiring the greater percentage of systems from the best value vendor. This will help maximize value to the taxpayer while still preserving dual manufacturing sources.
At this juncture, we are working hard with the FAA to secure the deployment of additional L-3 systems. To date, the FAA has ordered 19 systems and has installed two systems at airports in Dallas and Honolulu, along with four units at FAA test facilities for continuous certification and operational support. The first of these, installed for American Airlines in Dallas in May of 2000, was our first domestically operational unit. While we admit it experienced limited growing painsa commonly shared experience for all EDS suppliers when first moving a system from the laboratory to the operational worldit is presently operating without issue. In fact, American Airlines has requested several more systems for their installation requirements.
The Honolulu system installed in January 2001 no doubt benefited from some of the steps we took in Dallas, and these units have operated with a high degree of availability and reliability throughout the time they have been in place. In fact, two additional systems have been planned for Hawaii for some time and will be installed in November 2001.
In addition to these units I have identified, L-3 has in storage nine FAA-owned units in our warehouses waiting for their disposition. On Thursday, September 27th, the FAA sent an e-mail requesting that these units be made ready for immediate deployment and directing L-3 to convert these units to stand-alone configuration from an integrated system, the normal operating configuration. This conversion requires a minor change to the conveyor tunnels and the addition of a software application called Hold-on-Alarm, which is used for stand-alone operation only, in order to facilitate bag control by a single system operator. The final four units with mods are scheduled for factory acceptance testing by the FAA starting Monday, October 15th. This test usually takes about 3 days to complete.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There are also seven L-3 systems that were installed in Rome, Italy, in late 1999, where they are being used in a modern, integrated, in-line conveyor baggage screening operation, which is a considerably more complex operation than the use of EDS in a stand-alone lobby installation. The integrated system in Rome is state-of-the-art and has worked extraordinarily well. A demonstration of this system was made to Members of Congress in March of 2001.
Based on recent planning information provided us by the FAA, we now anticipate that the remaining L-3 eXaminer 6000 systems will be deployed in the next 3 months. Not only do we believe that it is important that our system be deployed expediently to provide additional security coverage, but also to provide us further operational exposure to the airlines which no doubt will have a voice in any future acquisition.
Recent congressional committee report language, of which some of you are aware, called for equal acquisition of EDS systems by FAA from the two existing manufacturers in order to promote a more competitive environment. In view of the limited number of our systems deployed domestically, we have not yet benefited from exposure to the airline community that we believe is mandatory to achieve a level competitive environment. We trust that the heightened emphasis on system deployment will provide that opportunity shortly for the second-generation EDS.
The tragic events of September 11th made it clear to all the seriousness with which terrorists have targeted the United States. It has reinforced the need for strength and security measures in all facets of our lives. EDS can and should play an increased role in protecting our citizens from this threat both in aviation and in other sectors, as well as further restoring confidence to the American traveler. I would anticipate that the deployment and use of EDS will inevitably increase at home and abroad.
To that end, the FAA has advised L-3 to plan for at least 35 additional units in this coming fiscal year, once funding is authorized. In addition, L-3 is developing a new, lower-cost unit to make a broader application of EDS for smaller airports with less traffic under the FAA ARGUS program. ARGUS, designed to be a smaller, lower-capacity, certified EDS, addresses operational deployment items in the design effort. I would strongly recommend that the ARGUS program continue to proceed on track. At the same time, I would urge that we provide additional funding and increased commitment to the rapid deployment of existing certified systems. The American traveling public deserves the added protection that can be afforded by the expanded use of the technology we already have available to us.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC L-3 Communications stands ready, with its partner, Analogic, to assist however we can in our Nation's effort to combat the all-too-real threat of terrorism directed against our citizens.
That completes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions.
Mr. MICA. Thank you.
We will hear lastly from James O'Bryon. He is the Deputy Director of Operational Test and Evaluation for Live Fire Testing in the Department of Defense.
You are recognized.
Mr. O'BRYON. Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the subcommittee, it is an honor to be here today to address this important issue.
I think it is particularly significant that as we are sitting here, there is a major memorial service going on just a couple of miles from here at the Pentagon to honor all of those who lost their lives in the September 11th attack. I was in the Pentagon that day and felt the full force of the attack, and you do not have to convince me that this issue is extremely important.
I also want to ensure that the details discussed today, including my own comments, do not make the job of any potential future terrorist easier, so we will limit them obviously to things that are not sensitive.
I am the Deputy Director, Operational Testing, in the Pentagon. One might wonder why am I here from the Pentagon since I do not work as a contractor for equipment nor do I work for the FAA. I am in an independent office of the Pentagon, created by Congress about 15 years ago because the Congress was concerned about equipment being fielded in the Defense Department, like aircraft and tanks, that were not being built properly and were not survivable and effective and suitable. They formed the Operational Test Office and the Live Fire Office to ensure that an independent look was done at the equipment that was going out the door.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, the FAA has no exact counterpart to the Director, Operational Testing. Perhaps the closest it has is its Office of Explosive Testing Certification, which is located in the FAA's technical center near Atlantic City, New Jersey. This office reports to the FAA's AAR 500 office, which is an aviation security R&D, charged with carrying out the FAA's certification testing of its deployable bulk explosive detection equipment used in our major airports here and many around the world.
Since 1994, the FAA has requested that someone independent of the FAA be present to oversee its certification process, the testing of the EDS equipment expected to be deployed, and I have served in that capacity for roughly the past 3 years. And so, while my salary is paid by the Department of Defense, I can call it like I see it since I do not report to the FAA per se, and my salary is paid by DOD rather than the DOT.
Aviation security has a lot of different pieces in the architecture, and I will not focus on all of them. Some of our previous speakers have, but we must keep in mind that it is an architecture and is only as good as its weakest link, including screening passenger credentials at check-in, which I think is essential, screening checked baggage, screening carry-on articles and passengers for objects and materials, bag matching with passengers boarding, video monitoring, cargo screening, carried mail protocols, airport perimeter security and a whole host of other issues.
I would like to home in this morning, however, on one very visible and important element in the airport security architecture, with which I am most familiar, the equipment used for bulk explosive detections in checked baggage in our airports.
While few would argue that the United States is one of the most, if not the most, technologically advanced nations on Earth, equipment which possesses reasonably high, true detection rates for carried explosives in checked baggage, while having low false alarm rates is not yet certified and fielded. The FAA has solicited from the Nation's private sector proposals for the construction of various equipment, including technologies, but in my opinion, with limited success. There are currently only two manufacturers of bulk EDS equipment in the United States that have provided equipmentyou have heard from both this morningthat have met the minimal certification standards, InVision and L-3.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC InVision's EDS equipment has been deployed at a significant number of U.S. airports, as well as some overseas. I have been present while various versions of this device have been tested, sometimes passing and sometimes failing. The same is true for the L-3 systems.
It is important to state here that the standards and threshold protocols recommended by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences a few years ago and currently being used by the FAA for bulk certification testing are classified and, hence, I will not disclose them here. However, I can state unequivocally to all of you that the current levels that have been established for positive explosives detection, permissible false alarm rates and minimal throughput are not those rates desired by the aviation industry.
Rather, these thresholds have been driven by the inability of current equipment to perform any better. In fact, if the thresholds were tightened by only a couple of percentage points, there would currently be few, if any, EDS equipment certified at all.
Part of the problem one faces in explosive detection in luggage is the lack of a multispectral detection system. No matter what physical or chemical parameter one selects as critical criteria for explosives detection, there are any number of materialshousehold items, clothing, apparel, souvenirsthat are commonly carried in luggage that present the same or similar signature, thereby causing false alarms or not alarming when a true threat exists.
Currently, all certified and deployed EDS equipment relies on a technology called X-ray computerized tomography, relying solely on one physical parameter. This results in significantly large false alarm rates due to the presence of similar nonhazardous materials, which then, in turn, results in other negative consequences, including need for further human intervention to resolve the false alarms, the inherent negative impact on baggage throughput, because you are resolving and taking time, as well as the negative learning those who operate the machines would receive from the continuing barrage of false alarmsand I mean barrage. I have been on site watching these things. I was in Dulles Airport and National Airport just 2 weeks before the attack.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The FAA has developed a standardized set of bags which it uses for bulk EDS testings. The standardized bag is made up of basically two groups. One set has bombs, the other set does not. The bomb set is made up of various explosives that we would expect to see covered, but it does not cover all explosives, leading to the possibility of failing to detect a bomb that happens to be made out of a material we are not checking for.
Another set, a much larger set, does not contain any bombs, and this set is used to assess both false alarm rate and baggage throughput. You heard those things discussed earlier. The certification testing that I oversee at FAA does not assess the nonquantifiables. The things we are looking atfalse alarm rate, detection rate, throughputare all quantifiable. But there is a law called Gresham's law. Gresham's Law says the quantifiable tends to obscure the significant; and there are many nonquantifiables, or hard-to-quantify things that we have to look at that we are not, really.
This law is equally applicable to the equipment's effectiveness in the field. While the FAA certification testing is easily quantifiable, it can be compared to what the Pentagon currently performs in its various developmental testing programs assessing whether we meet certain numerical goals. Other testing which assesses how well the equipment performs in the hands of actual operators in actual operating environments is equally important, and this would roughly parallel the responsibility of the office I am from in assessing the effectiveness, suitability, survivability of its program in the hands of actual personnel expected to deploy these same systems.
So, in summary, I would conclude that current FAA bulk EDS certification testing is useful, it is necessary, but nowhere near sufficient. The certification testing has been carried out carefully, tediously and properly reported as required by the current procedures incorporating the National Academy of Sciences protocols. It does not, however, address those other issues that one might call nonquantifiable, which heavily drive their effectiveness when actually deployed in America's airports.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It is no mystery that the operation of this scanning equipment is very tedious and monotonous, and the wages paid those who perform it are minimal. The job monotony is further exacerbated by the high levels of alarms being realized which, as one would expect, almost always are resolved as false alarms, thereby adding further negative learning.
How can we mitigate the problems? One method would be to apply what I am calling multiple parameter assessment simultaneously, which would be used to categorize a scanned item as a possible explosive. The simplest way to give an example of this is, when I was in graduate school in Massachusetts, one of the courses I took as an elective was Innovation; and each student was expected to come up with an idea that was both marketable and practical and, hopefully, would make some money.
And back in the mid-70s when I was up there, one student came up with an idea that solved a problem that the banks were having. People were bringing in gold coins and bars, cashing them in, but the problem was, there were a lot of counterfeits. People would take a bar of lead or whatever and coat it with gold and try to turn it in as solid gold.
So what happens if you take a device and check a gold bullion brick's resistivity, you might be able to get a lead brick that is coated with gold or copper or something that looks like it, looks like a 24-carat gold block and has the sameone physical characteristic the same and you can fool the system. But if you look at resistivity, electrical conductivity, ductility, malleability, density and a couple of other things, those four or five things looked at simultaneously, the only thing that you are going to see that will pass all of those tests simultaneously is 24-carat gold.
That kind of approach, I think, is what is going to be needed for us to successfully get the false alarm rate down and the detection rate up to where it ought to be.
EDS equipment is nowhere near this capability, and the problem is much more complex than saying whether one has pure gold or not, since there are dozens of explosive types, shapes, chemistries, physical properties and other features.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Some work has been performed by the FAA's own R&D facilities, at $50 million a year, and at a number of other R&D facilities, such as DOE's labs and universities, that will help us in this direction, but we have a long way to go..
It would be beneficial for the FAA to adopt as part of its certification process, much like the Pentagon has already done, to not only include what it does now, developmental testing of its equipmentin other words, certification testing that it does currently at its site in Atlantic City, but also include in situ operational testing to look at performance of the actual people that will use this equipment day in and day out.
I don't know if you have, as I have, sat and watched these parties perform. It is very, very monotonous, and that is being kind.
I focus today on certification and operation of bulk explosives. This is just one element, obviously. Besides this, there are passenger screening, carry-on bag problems, cargo screening, security hiring, training, operation and retention of people doing this, aircraft hardening, and other topics which you might wish to pursue today.
In conclusion, I would just like to mention that I take the challenge to improve aviation security as a serious one. And that must be won. We must win it, and I will continue to do my part.
I applaud the committee's hard work in its oversight of the Nation's transportation systems. I will be glad to take any questions that the committee might have.
Mr. MICA. Thank you. I will start questions with you.
First of all, I think you testified, a week or two before September 11th, you had conducted some evaluations of explosive detection equipment at Dulles and also I think Ronald Reagan National.
What did you observe in those tests and what was the performance of the equipment?
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. O'BRYON. Mr. Chairman, without going into classified information, I can say this, that that was one day. You know, I cannot say it is a large sample size, but what I saw that particular day was that the false alarm rates that I observed by the people performing it was about double what the certification rate limit is for certification testing. In other words, in situ, I was observing about double what is permissible.
Mr. MICA. And was the problemthe problem was the technology inadequacy?
Mr. O'BRYON. Well, it could be a number of things. If it was roughly what we are seeing currentlyand, again, we cannot discuss what those numbers areI think they are much too high still.
It could have been that what was in the luggage in the airport does not necessarily represent what is in the luggage that is currently being used in the baseline. Now, the FAA does its best to try to get luggage that is unclaimed. They buy this luggage and they put it into their luggage sets to assess the throughput and bomb detection. But the only way that I can explain it is, either it is a statistical anomaly, since it was only one sample, or there are differences in the bags. Or maybe the calibration of the equipment is off. I don't know.
Mr. MICA. One of the things that we are interested in is trying to get better technology deployed.
Technologically, is it possible to develop equipment that will detect a wide range of potential explosive devices, weapons, et cetera? Is thator are we trying to develop technology that cannot perform this function?
Mr. O'BRYON. I believe that we do have technology out there, but there is a difference between having the technology and marketing the technology, in other words, taking the engineering to the technology and putting it into a system that will work.
Now, I am optimistic about the in fact that the processing speeds hopefully will increase. And Moore's law applies and every 18 months or so we double our capability in terms of memory and computer speed, so I am optimistic on that point.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But the problem is not a simple one. I was talking to someone the other day. We have up to as many as 100 kinds of compounds that can be explosive. So it is not like looking at 24-carat gold. It is a complicated problem. Some of the national labs, and let's not forget the universities, are doing some outstanding work, but I am not sure how much of that is being harnessed. I know the FAA has a $50 million investment in R&D.
Mr. MICA. Is that adequate? Should we have some coordinated effort to put all of this together better to develop the technology and then evaluate, certify the technology?
Mr. O'BRYON. I think something needs to be done to pull it all together. The Pentagon benefits from having a Defense Science Board which comes in and does periodic studies and then makes recommendations to the Secretary on how to improve things. The FAA does not have an FAA science board.
The Pentagon has a Defense Systems Management College to teach us how to manage this stuff. The FAA does not have a similar thing; I am not suggesting they have a mirror image, but something that would be a resource that the FAA could go to to pull all of this together, because right now I am looking at just one small corner of this great big building called FAA architecture.
There is a whole bunch of thingsand you can be sure any terrorist is going to challenge the weakest linknot to play on a television show. But it is a very, very real thing. And a lot of this stuff is being played in the open which makes our problems even more because it educates these folks.
I would hope that we do not say too much this morning that will cause any benefit to these folks. You will have a closed session later, as you know.
Mr. MICA. Right.
Mr. Paresi, I have been told that equipment that the FAA has previously purchased from L-3 has been kept in a warehouse for 6 to 8 months. Is that true and if so, why?
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PARESI. Yes, it is true that some of the equipment has been warehoused. The FAA has a plan to purchase that equipment and deploy that equipment. We were in a demonstration program at the first start of our deployment. We have completed that, and independent of the events of September 11th there was a plan in place to deploy this equipment over the next 6 to 9 months.
Mr. MICA. I have also been told that some of your L-3 EDS systems break down more frequently than the InVision system; is that true?
Mr. PARESI. No, I do not believe that is true, Mr. Chairman.
The equipmentwe installed one system in Dallas in May of 2000. That system was the only one deployed in the United States at that time. I admitted in my record that when we put that out there, we went through growing pains. In the last several months, we have shown very good performance. In fact, the numbers that I have show near 100 percent availability for that equipment over the last 6 to 8 weeks.
Mr. MICA. Mr. Williamson and maybe Mr. Sheridan also. Mr. Williamson, first of all, you said that current airport security provides us with a false sense of security.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Yes, I did.
Mr. MICA. I think you said, and you have demonstrated, you have some technologyI think both you and Mr. Sheridan have technology that can do a better job in detecting at least some of the materials that can be used for weapons, for example.
Why has that equipment not been deployed?
Mr. WILLIAMSON. That is a question, Mr. Chairman, I really can't answer. The FAA would probably be more.
Mr. MICA. Well, you know, we spent almost a half a billion dollars on explosive detection devices.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC What are we looking at to deploy the most sophisticated technology that you and Mr. Sheridan have at this point? What are you talking about in terms of cost?
You said, in 6 months to a year,.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. We are talking about the body scanner, I assume?
Mr. MICA. Yes.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Normally, the body scanner has a price tag in the $100,000 range. They can be manufactured in almost any kind of ramp-up quantity that we would need to accelerate to complete deployment.
Mr. SHERIDAN. Our body scanning system is more expensive, roughly $130,000. And we can scale up to meet any demand, because we do this as a systems integrator, with our component vendors bearing the manufacturing burden.
One of your questions that you just asked is, why aren't more things being deployed? There is a problem at the FAA in the infatuation with CT scanning as the answer. And one of the senior scientists there is actually one of the founders of InVision, and we have dealt with him. We proposed new R&D programs, and we basically have been told that for the funds available, they have the technologies they want to go with.
We have some new technology called ''side scatter'' that would do better in defining explosive densities, that we proposed. It was denied. We have proposed coherent scattering. That is being funded by the German Government for a company called YXLON, and shows great promise in explosive detection. It has very low false alarm rates. It is slow. But the issue is detection; it is not about speed today.
And if we come back to the InVision situation, that is a great level 2 system. It needs a front end. The comment was made about Gresham's law, and the quantifiable obscures the significant. I think we have made a wrong turn in trying to make checked baggage scanning totally automatic. Because if we apply Gresham's law, what we are looking for is the historically quantifiable, but not necessarily the significant in terms of clever terrorists and how they disguise it. You have to get a human operator into this system at either level 1, level 2 or level 3.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MICA. Mr. Williamson, have you deployed some of your equipment in other countries?
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Yes, we have.
Mr. MICA. Like where?
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Mexico is a prevalent user of the equipment. We have deployed some of the equipment in the United States through U.S. Customs, approximately a dozen units.
Mr. MICA. Okay. I have no further questions at this time. Let me yield to Mr. Lipinski.
I am sorry, he is gone, Mr. DeFazio.
Mr. DEFAZIO. Mr. Honda is first.
Mr. MICA. And he will yield to Mr. Honda.
Mr. HONDA. Thank you, Mr. DeFazio and Mr. Chairman.
I heard a couple of comments about technology. Maybe the answer cannot be given here, but I think what I heard you say, Mr. O'Bryon, is that what we need is a ''multiphasic approach'' to the detection of explosives or other items in baggage.
Number one, do we have that kind of equipment already available, or is that something that needs to be created right now?
Mr. O'BRYON. Well, first of all, not to take anything away from what has been deployed now, but what we have deployed right now is for bulk baggage, and detection, we only have X-ray computerized tomography. That is the only method we use.
There are other techniques out there like what Heimann uses, which makes combined detection. We have quantum magnetic systems, there are coherent scatter, low-angle scatter, zylon is used, nuclear-based technologies, thermoneutron activations, not currently used, pulse vast neutron.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Some of these things, of course, could be quite expensive, and there is alwayswhen you have small amounts of nuclear material, like even in medicine, you have a radiation hazard you have to cope with. But there are technologies out there that I think are to the point, where we can at least try to turn the science into a technology. In other words, what I mean is, to put something that is in a bread box, put it into a trial system to see how it will work.
I know across the river in the Pentagon we have a thing called ACTDs, advanced technology demonstrators. Perhaps something like that in the FAA would be helpful. We have a lot of science and technology, but they haven't really been married into a system successfully yet. I am optimistic, but it is a very complex thing.
Mr. HONDA. What I hear being said is that there is probably science out there, we just have to sit down and go through our system and find the right solutions, and then ask ourselves, what are the characteristics we need to put together in order to create a good, highly, reliable screening process or detection process.
Mr. O'BRYON. I do not want to minimize the detection technology either, turning science into something that is usable, that is tough.
Mr. HONDA. You talked about certification. Is that the same thing as standardizing technology for application in this arena?
Mr. O'BRYON. Is certification the same as standardizing technology?
Mr. HONDA. We have a group called NIST?
Mr. O'BRYON. I am familiar with them, yes.
Mr. HONDA. And they are about standardizing technology. I understand it is supposed to help us understand its limits and its applicability so that we will know what the menu is to apply to the circumstances we are faced with.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Is that what you are talking about, or are you talking about something else when you talk about certification?
Mr. O'BRYON. When I talk about certification, what I am talking about is a very formal, stiff, if you will, rigid process that has been set up by the FAA under the direction of its leaders; and as a result of some of the tragedies we have had over the past decade, to subject any system that wishes to be certified and deployed, to assure that it has reached the threshold for false alarm ratein other words, you cannot be over a certain amount; detection rate, you cannot be below certain amount; and throughput. Those three parameters we check.
Sometimes it takes a day or 3 or 4 days, depending on whether it is a faster or slower system. That is exactly what I am talking about; and after the result of all of those tests, I write an independent letter to the FAA here in Washington to tell them what I saw and what I did not, and they are either pass or fail. It is not a question of you almost pass or fail. You either pass or fail based on those criteria.
Mr. HONDA. My last question: what you describe as ''certification process,'' would that be part of the NIST process, or should that be part of their process in order to have a product at the end of the line that we can utilize in our system?
Mr. O'BRYON. Oh, boy, I think maybe we are mixing two different things here.
I think the certification process that is currently going on at the FAA needs to continue. But as far as the development of the technology and turning it into a system, I am not sure what role NIST would play there. Maybe someone else on the panel would be able to comment on that. I really do not have much to say about that that is informed.
Mr. SHERIDAN. If I may, Congressman, David Allen Bogen, recently deceased, was the CEO and founder of Vivid, which was one of the early EDS systems that found broad application in Europe. And during the TWA 800 Gore Commission hearings, he was very vocal and talking about certification being a barrier to deploying solutions because we were waiting for a silver bullet, as opposed to taking technology which was better than what was available today and getting it out there and then working to improve it.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I truly believe that certification has been an exclusionary process, and there are technologies by other companies that could be deployed wherein it has to be automatic and has to do 450 bags an hour; and if it does not, it is not certified. That creates a false barrier to deployment of better solutions. And they may not be perfect, but they are clearly a step in the right direction.
Mr. HONDA. Well, I guess one barrier depends how you look at it. If you are talking about performance standards, then it is a standard that you work towards. And I am not sure that is a barrier, but I guess we can talk about that and think about that as we move along.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. DUNCAN. [Presiding.] Well, thank you, Mr. O'Bryon, I'm sorry I had to leave to go to another meeting and I did not get to hear about your field tests, but you know 3 years ago, I suggested to some people that we create a school for screeners. And I know Mr. Lipinski was open to it, but actually a proposal was made and there was not a whole lot of interest.
What I am wondering aboutand that has become a big issue now, the whole issue about screeners. What was your impression of the screeners? What happens if a bomb is detected or if something is found? Is there a plan in place at most of these airports? What did you observe about that?
Mr. O'BRYON. Well, I will not disclose which airport it was, but one of the ones I visited I asked the question, Have you ever detected a bomb using these devices since you have been here? And the answer back was, No, we haven't.
And then I said, Well, let's role play here for a moment. Let's say, for example, you put a piece of luggage in here like you just did and requests, what, 100 percent you know it is a bomb, what do you do? And the answer was, they did not know.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And so they are really set up. They are not spring-loaded, if indeed it happens, because as I said before, the false alarm rate is so high, that they get this ''wolf, wolf'' complex. You know. And as a result of that, they get numb, I think, to the problem of a real one; and I think that is really one of the major issues that we face today is this unreasonably high false alarm rate. It is not an indictment on science, but it is something that we need to get our arms around.
And I am just watching from a distance here. I do not build these things, but I do watch them as they are tested, and it is not a pretty sight sometimes.
Mr. DUNCAN. Well, I understand your point.
Mr. Muntz, in your testimony you stated that the FAA's goal prior to these horrible events on September 11th was to implement 100 percent EDS scanning between 2009 and 2017; and of course, now do you know why it was originally going to take that long? And from what you have learned since that time, do you think things are being speeded up dramatically now, or do you think things are still moving fairly slowly?
Mr. MUNTZ. Well, there has been tremendous discussion about accelerating that, and a lot of it does await action on funding, of course. What they originally, from my information, had planned to do was establish an EDS and CAPPS baseline throughout the entire aviation system; and that would require all CAPPS-selected bags be scanned with an EDS or some alternative procedures. And from that point forward, after 2004, they would begin the implementation of 100 percent scanning.
Very clearly, I think that will and should be relooked at now and should be accelerated dramatically.
Mr. DUNCAN. How much acceleration do you think is possible or realistic?
Mr. MUNTZ. Well, I think we have to, first of all, recognize that since 1996 to now, with a greater commitment, a lot more could have been done. And we have wasted some time. It will not happen overnight, but certainly in the measure of a couple of years, couple to 3 years, we can produce and install enough equipment to certainly approach 100 percent or thereabouts EDS scanning.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Paresi, if the eXaminer 6000 is smaller, lighter, faster and has a greater detection capability and all of these other good points, why is it not being more widely used?
Mr. PARESI. Yes, as I saidI think you might have been out of the roomwe have been involved in a development and demonstration phase with the FAA, and the plan is to deploy more of this equipment over the next 6, 9 months. I think that has accelerated now, and it will be deployed in the next 3 months. And we have discussed with the FAAand I had it in my testimony; our recommendation is that we move towards a competitive environment in the future where the best value and the best deployment of equipment is established in future-year funding. We feel that the merits of our equipment would get the best light under that circumstance.
Mr. DUNCAN. All right. I am sure most of these other questions that we have had have probably been asked.
Mr. BOSWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be very brief.
After today, listening, I am further convinced to have across the country safe, standardized, high-quality security the same, wherever you board, with security on the airport side, we have got to move to a federalized program. We should not delay, should not delay too long; and I hope that we will continue.
I yield back my time, but before I do that, I might ask if Mr. Lipinski wanted to have a chance to say anything. And I see he is busy, so I yield back.
Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Boswell.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the testimony.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I just have to make a comment to my dear friend, Mr. Boswell. I think we need to move as rapidly as we can to fix the problem, and I am not convinced that federalizing everybody is the answer. If it is, I would be glad to join up with him.
If we look at that, why don't we federalize the pilots? Why don't we federalize the mechanics?
So, I think the key here is to do what is most efficient, and effective and make the system better as quickly as we can by the time we move the Federal Government to put everybody under that uniform and umbrella. I am convinced that is not the quickest or the best way, and we all want the same result.
Mr. BOSWELL. Would the gentleman yield?
But we have already federalized the pilots. What kind of license do you have in your pocket?
Thank you. I yield back.
Mr. HAYES. Regaining my time, the fact that I have got that license does not make me a Federal employee. Being a Congressman does.
Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Thune.
Mr. THUNE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you, Panel; welcome to the subcommittee. Thank you for your testimony.
I guess I am sort of curious, too. You responded to the question about the equipment not being utilized, and this might be a rudimentary question, but if the technology existsand I think part of the solution here is enhancing and improving the technologies, and the technologies evolving to the needs that we have out there.
But the technology that exists, the capabilities that are there, what is the mechanism by which some of these, like the CTX, is used today? Because if it is being underutilizedand clearly it is in terms of what it is being tested to do and how it is being used today at the airports; and I am just asking this again as sort of a basic questionhow is that today? What is the mechanism by which that is deployed today? Anybody.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MUNTZ. You are asking, what is the mechanism for bag selection?
Mr. THUNE. Yes, how does it work?
Mr. MUNTZ. Well, the FAA employs a CAPPS system that selects bags to be scanned and then matches that with a certain number of random bags to be scanned.
In the past, before the security initiatives that came out of September 11th, those were the bags that were scanned and the only bags that were scanned. If bags were not selected by the computer, either random or based on the criteria in the computerized program, the machine was not used. That was part of each airline's security plan as required by the FAA.
Mr. THUNE. Butso each airline sort of implemented it differently? There is no.
Mr. MUNTZ. I believe it was standardized.
Mr. THUNE. But when you say you had a computer select randomly or the other criteria, was it something that triggered it based on suspicion, based on a size, or what is the ''other'' besides the random?
Mr. MUNTZ. It is probably a question better asked directly of the FAA, but it is a program that selects based on known information about travelersand nothing with regards to ethnicity or anything like that.
Mr. O'BRYON. Mr. Thune, if I could interrupt for a moment, I believe some of those parameters are sensitive and maybe could be covered in closed hearing. But there is a database that has been established that when a passenger arrives there is certain information that is known by the agent and that is shared by the airlines, and in closed hearing, maybe we could go through those parameters.
Mr. SHERIDAN. CAPPS stands for computerized-assisted passenger profiling system, and it is based on a series of factors. On September 11th, none of the 19 hijackers were flagged by the CAPPS program. Two women were. It does not work well because it has been dummied down. It has been dummied down because of privacy issues, because of concerns about profiling based on nationality or ethnicity; and that is clearly something that needs to be reviewed.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC A more robust CAPPS program is part of effective security.
Mr. THUNE. One other question I have as a member from a small State with numerous small commercial airports, like South Dakota: I am obviously extremely concerned about the safety at those airports, as well, and very much supportive of using technology to more accurately and quickly check baggage. At the same time, I guess my question has to do with the impact on the finances of small airports.
How should these new technologies be incorporated into those types of settings, smaller commercial airports? Any thoughts on that?
Mr. PARESI. I had in my statement that there is a program in place called ARGUS that the FAA is running right now, and at least InVision and L-3 are involved in that, also Perkin-Elmer, and I think Rapiscan as well.
The intent of that is to develop a system that is more appropriate for use at the smaller airports where we can look at the through-put requirements for those airports and keeping in mind the costs and the number of airports that we want to deploy to. So the FAA is addressing that program right now.
Mr. O'BRYON. Through-put is an issue, however. I believe the FAA in the not too distant future is shooting for 100 percent bag scanning. So something needs to be done to deploy systems so that goal can be met.
Mr. MUNTZ. Just to further respond to your question with regards to cost, airports currently do not have a financial impact for the installation of EDS systems and checked baggage screening in the way it is currently used.
Mr. THUNE. My assumption would be if there is some enhanced use of that, though, that there could be, I suppose, a burden incurred by the airports in order to support that increased use. I mean, we don't know exactly where all this is headed exactly right now, I guess. I appreciate the answers to your question.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One furthercan I get one more question, Mr. Chairman? One original question on this CAPPS system, is this something that the changes, when you talk about a more robust program there, something that the FAA could implement without having the direction of the Congress? I mean, is therewe start talking about standards, and also the whole debate about federalization and everything else is one that is sort of raging around the country. Up here right now.
Mr. SHERIDAN. Congressman, it is an outstanding question. We need to move to a secure ID card for the frequent traveler. The FAA would need some help because there are some privacy issues, but there would be data in there that says the frequent business traveler is a known entity and would get an easy pass through the airport. Then you focus your security assets on the infrequent traveler.
You know, I don't believe that any frequent traveler should ever be scanned with a body search. There is no need to if we know who they are, and you use the body search instead for the person for which you have no information. But the FAA is going to need some help because, once again, we get into issues of information in a computerized file and the trade-off between privacy and security.
Mr. O'BRYON. I would like to add one thing. I think the frequent flier status alone is not enough either because some of the men that evidently were in these aircraft were frequent fliers. They had frequent flier accounts. I think what we also need is to be connected somehow to the database that is maintained by the law enforcement agencies, FBI, et cetera. That is going to be a real hard nut to crack, but we need to crack it.
Mr. THUNE. Mr. Chairman, I have a statement I would like to have included as well.
Mr. MICA. Without objection, your entire statement will be made part of the record.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. DeFazio.
Mr. DEFAZIO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Just in following up on that, I don't think it would be insurmountable to have people do this voluntarily and to expose themselves to criminal background checks. I have got a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I had to expose myself to an FBI background check in my State to do that. So I think that we could ask the people to pay for these checks because of the convenience they are going to accrue by having them.
I think it should be much more thorough than whether or not you are a member of the frequent flier program. I don't think that is what he was implying. I think we are talking about a category of people who then undergo fairly intense background checks.
Mr. Sheridan, I am really interested in the way you presented your technology versus what I heard from Mr. O'Bryon in terms of its capability in detecting a fairly wide range of rather readily available explosive devices, contraband and the like. Could you address whether or not.
Mr. SHERIDAN. Back scatter works on a different principle than computer tomography. It looks at the scatter of reflected X-rays from organic materials. What we are looking to do is identify organic material in a cluttered background and then determine whether or not that is an explosive. We are highly effective in doing that, as proven by the New York Port Authority test at Kennedy and the continuing testing that is getting done by the Secret Service and the FBI and the Capitol Police.
The technology that L-3 has is made by a company by Inlogic that is a leader in developing CT equipment for the medical industry, and it should in theory work very well. It has had problems, and it suffers from a lack of additional R&D. With additional funding that, that technology, using a cone, using a more intensive scan of the bag should indeed be highly effective and be a good level 2 system.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. DEFAZIO. Would youand anybody can comment on thiscomment on the level of skill of the operator. You made the point that there has to be a human involved. I have heard others say, ''oh, anybody could do this. We don't really need highly trained people. We can put bells and whistles or alarms here.'' Would you care to comment on the use of your technology, or anybody else; is it of the level of expertise and attention that needs to be paid by the screeners? Briefly if you could.
Mr. SHERIDAN. I have a belief on this. You are looking at a very complex, cluttered environment to find a weapon or an explosive threat, and the safety of all the passengers on that plane depends upon the diligence and the aptitude of that individual. It is very similar to someone reading a medical X-ray or to a radar operator in air traffic control. You want someone who is skilled. You don't want to dummy down this job.
Mr. DEFAZIO. At some point, I suppose we could envision that you would be able to have computer technology that could provide a tremendous amount of assistance in assembling or reassembling the picture.
Mr. SHERIDAN. The computer technology is a trap, and, again, I come back to the fact that we have got ourselves in adown a box canyon on EDS systems in that the multiplicity of explosive threats are greater than the ability for this equipment to be effective with both a high probability of detection and a low false alarm rate. Therefore, you have got to match it with other technology, as suggested by Mr. O'Bryon, and I think you have got to bring a human operator into it.
Mr. DEFAZIO. Does anybody disagree with the fact that we need highly skilled, trained and attentive people as a key part of any of these systems that any of you are proposing?
Mr. SHERIDAN. Not here.
Mr. PARESI. I would like to add a piece to that. First of all, one point is Mr. O'Bryon is representing the certification standards which is set up by the National Academy of Science, and very strict rules for what is required to pass certification and addresses the trade-offs between high-level detection and low levels of false alarms, and that is a very important criteria. And that is the threshold that has not been passed by other suppliers of equipment yet, these levels of certification that need to be adhered to.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One of the things that we did in our design, and we had the benefit of learning from the InVision equipment when they were deployed 4 years before us, is we took an approach that was quite radical and revolutionary in the way that we tried to detect the equipment. Rather than use an extra machine, we went with a large number of detectors aligned as if they were 24 CAT scans in parallel. The advantage to this approach is that it allows the operator to seefirst of all, allows the system to detect everything no matter where it is hidden in the bag so the detection level is very high. The second thing it allows the operator to do is to get a three-dimensional representation of the object that has alarmed.
You do get a high level of false alarms in this equipment because you are measuring density, and there are a lot of things that have the same density as a hundred different types of explosives. Once have you found the object of concern, you need to look at that very closely, and the approach that InLogic and L-3 took to do that was to make a three-dimensional view of the object of concern and allow that to be rotated and examined completely from all sides so that you could see whether that is an explosive. And this is going to help simplify the operation and the level of people required to do the work.
Mr. DEFAZIO. But it still sounds fairly skilled; not your average hamburger flipper.
Mr. PARESI. It is not the hamburger guy, I agree.
Mr. SHERIDAN. These are not exclusionary technologies. They are complementary in an integrated system.
Mr. DEFAZIO. I like the idea of the layered system. And would anyone care to comment on justokay. Mr. Muntz.
Mr. MUNTZ. Excuse me. I did just want to point out in some of the technological applications, we are basically talking about an imaging technology. Thirty percent of the time in the field, as measured across our 250-system installed base, operators on average will have to look at images. The one thing in imaging, it is a little bit like real estate. There are three things that really counts in real estate, location, location, location. In imaging it is resolution, resolution and resolution. The technique that we have deployed in all of our systems and evaluated multiple other techniques produces the highest level of resolution both in the raw data on which the machine makes automatic detections and in the images presented to operators from which they have to make decisions.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have experimented with three-dimensional images to operators and various other techniques and have through time and experience and the iterative process of development come up with what we feel is the very best technique that allows the lowest through-put possible, highest detection, and the best opportunity for threat resolution.
In all of our work with the Israelis, we have been able to program the system to develop detection capabilities specific to their threat vectors. We have reduced the threat mass detection capability of our system based on new intelligence coming in, and more recently, after the review of the technologies in the field, airports in Milan, in Venice, Sweden, Manila have all determined that from a practical application as well as the fundamental technology, the CTX systems are the product that they have purchased for their airports.
Mr. DEFAZIO. But, again, skilled operator.
Mr. MUNTZ. Skilled operators through rigorous training programs that are intent on developing the best operators possible and not just operators that can get over the bar. It is clearly what is required and something that we have been supportive of for quite a long time.
Mr. DEFAZIO. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MICA. Mr. Cooksey yields to Mr. Duncan.
Mr. DUNCAN. Well, Mr. Cooksey can go ahead.
Mr. MICA. He yields to you.
Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Chairman, I think I have two very brief questions.
Mr. Williamson, I was here a few minutes ago or a little while ago when you flashed your body scan or body search technology up there. And I understand from reading your testimony that the U.S. Customs Service has used it, you say, successfully for the past couple of years. Can you tell me, are there other countries that are using this technology and how effective it has been and how they use it? Do they use it on one out of so many passengers, or do they use it on somebody that they are really suspicious of something, or what iswhat has been the reaction of the public in any other countries that you know about?
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WILLIAMSON. The other countries that are using the product today, there is some use down in Australia, there is prevalent use in Mexico. There is a certain degree of use in South Africa. My understanding, again, we don't establish the protocol that is typically done by the department utilizing the equipment, but they do it on a profiling basis. We have had minimal, if any, negative reaction from our customers. Their seizure rate has been extremely high, my understanding, not only in contraband from a threat standpoint, but also narcotics, currency attempting to be smuggled into the country, et cetera.
Mr. DUNCAN. And, Mr. Sheridan, let me ask you, does your system detect all of the different types of explosives in the FAA certification process?
Mr. SHERIDAN. Yes, it does.
Mr. DUNCAN. How many different types of explosives are there in that certification process, do you know?
Mr. SHERIDAN. My recollection, there are eight. Aren't there, Mr. O'Bryon?
Mr. O'BRYON. There are six different bag sets, and we will not discuss what explosives. Some of those bag sets are only one explosive, and a couple of the bag sets have mixed explosives because we can't do them all. So there is a certain standardized bag set. In fact, my recommendations recently have been to upgrade that because there are new things emerging that would need to be added to that baseline.
Mr. SHERIDAN. One of the things that we are highly effective on is symtex, and we have a reputation throughout the security world of our superior ability to see symtex.
If I can come back to your question on body search. We have systems in South Africa, one in a gold mine, one in a diamond mine, looking for gold and diamonds that might be smuggled out by workers. We have a system in a Middle Eastern country by their security services that are used for scanning all of the service personnel that attend to heads of state when they have meetings in that country. And why? Because they are looking for a plastic knife, for explosives, a belt bomb-type explosive that you see in Palestine or see in Sri Lanka, to protect those heads of state during those meetings.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. O'BRYON. I would ask the questionyou are saying it detects all those things, but my question is are there other things that it does not detect? Part of our problem is sometimes there are so many false alarms, then we need to resolve them. The question is really do you detect explosives, and do you most often not detect nonexplosives? And that is probably as difficult a problem as detecting explosives.
Mr. DUNCAN. You mentioned a minute ago some new things that terrorists are coming up with. Are there quite a few new explosives or new devices that they are coming up with at this time?
Mr. O'BRYON. I was just talking to the Director of FAA Security yesterday, and he was telling me that there is nearly 100 different kinds of explosives that we have to cope with now, and a lot of these are available on the open market.
Mr. DUNCAN. A hundred different types of explosives, but the FAA certification process requires eight.
Mr. O'BRYON. I am not going to tell exactly the number here in open session, but we have six bag sets of different explosives, and some of them are mixed explosives; in other words, multiple explosives in the same set, 150 bags total.
Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you.
Mr. MICA. Are there other questions of Members?
Mr. COOKSEY. I wanted to ask a couple of general questions if I could. You can select theyou can give the answer according to who thinks they have the best answer.
The thing that takes up a lot of time, and I have been in and out of all the airports here since September the 11th because I have a distance to travelI have a lot of confidence that there is a big improvement in the level of security over what it had been prior to September the 11th. I think there are some people that are being very professional. But I was in Atlanta and going through the process that you have to go through to fly to National, and it is a totally different scene now. It has gone from concourse A to concourse E. One of the security persons there told me he said, you know, if there was no carry-on luggage, it would greatly expedite things. Comment on that.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Number two, who of youor what system would expedite getting passengers through? Because there are a lot of passengers thatfor example, I talked to a businessman who is an attorney, oilman, businessman in New Orleans just within the hour who said that he does not wantthe flying businessman will not go through a 3-hour ordeal to make a 38-minute flight from Houston to New Orleans or vice versa. Who has the system, who can put together the best system, whether it is an individual or combination of your systems, that would basically move people through rapidly and give an absolute top-notch security system?
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Congressman, I think if you are talking about checkpoint security, it goes back to statements I think have been supported across the board on this panel about a layered approach. Again, it is an absence of a silver bullet. However, I do think right now, given the heightened activity since the tragedy, we do need to get the operators trained quickly. That is part of the slowdown in the queuing process at this point in time. It has takenand I like you have been on many planes since the 11th.
Mr. COOKSEY. You mean, get the operators trained to use the existing equipment.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Exactly. Exactly. There are things with the use of body scanners that can actually speed up the process. At a glance it may look to be slowing down the process, but I can tell you that a front and back body scan will take 10 to 12 seconds as opposed to a 60-second pat-down search or a search with hand metal detectors.
But I think the big key here is getting the TIP technology deployed and getting the operators trained, and TIP in and of itself is a continuous training tool. An operator is getting trained whether they want to or not as long as TIP is activated. As they become more proficient, they will be able to screen the bags more quickly and more effectively. Right now you have bags being running back and forth through the machine because an operator is not sure of what they are looking for, which is fine. Better to be safe than sorry. But improved training at the operator level is certainly going to improve the efficiency.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. COOKSEY. Now, no one has touched the question about no carry-on luggage. And this, of course, the implication would be that it would require greater checking and X-rays and so forth, technology application of maximum sophistication in terms of technology to check the luggage that is checked luggage. Do you think that is practicable, or do you think there is technology out there that will guarantee that luggage is okay?
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Again, one of the points that I made in my opening statement was, yes, the answer to your question, if we go to no carry-on and strictly checked-in luggage, it is going to speed the process up at both the checkpoint as well as the loading factor, because checked bags are not currently screened, but there is equipment that is effectively deployable today which can rectify that situation.
Mr. COOKSEY. Rectify checked or carry-on luggage?
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Both.
Mr. COOKSEY. Anyone else comment on those questions?
Mr. SHERIDAN. Congressman Cooksey, I think it would be wrong to give you the impression that security today is going to be fast. It is going to take more time. It is going to be expensive to implement layered security. It is going to take time to train. It is going to take investment in equipment and systems, profiling systems.
Mr. COOKSEY. Be careful using that word. I have gotten a lot of flak using the words. I am now using the term ''terrorist identification.'' ''profiling'' is unconstitutional, it is immoral, it is incorrect. So my new term is ''terrorist identification.'' you will see that.
Mr. SHERIDAN. But I think the initial goal is to restore public trust in aviation security, and it will be cumbersome initially, but I think over time we can refine those technologies and improve them. Thisthere is no PDQ solution to this. This is more of a journey, more of a quest, because the threat is going to continue to move as the terrorists test systems, study which airports are weak and look to strike. And what we have learned is what as the global policeman, we are the global target, and we have to protect the public.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. COOKSEY. Thank you.
Mr. MUNTZ. If I may add a couple of points. I think that optimizing the passenger movement through an airport while we at the same time maximize security is only partially technology-dependent, but also very much process-oriented, and it is something that none of us have really spoken about today because the topic is security equipment and deployment. But I think there are great gains to be made in looking at a layered approach, but looking at also having the passenger sort of multitask, if you will. Standing in line while there is no security being applied is a total waste of time.
We have been working with an airline on the development of an airport terminal that, in fact, would have had 100 percent baggage scanning with CTX systems not because they were required to, but because they felt that it expedited customer service. It was a system where they would have bags dropped at a bank of scanners where they would be getting tickets from kiosks using identification systems, biometric identification systems, at the same time and actually reducing the ticket check-in process and having people doing multiple activities at the same time.
So while it is important to get technology in the field now, in the kind of infrastructure in terminals that we have today, there is a tremendous amount of progress that can be made in looking at a much broader view. How could we move passengers, apply technology, and really try and get rid of the down time of just standing in lines. That terminal was scheduled to be opened in 2006, I believe. And a lot of the planning for that is under way now. So I think there is a lot more that can be done than just technology.
Mr. COOKSEY. In closing, I think it is really contingent upon us to instill confidence in the American public, and justified confidence, that they can indeed fly and it will be safe, and if some, you know, bad guy tries to take over the plane, that we can have confidence that the passengers will take that guy's head off. The kind of passengers I want on that plane are guys that are some blue-collar union workers, some guys that are Teamster members, even some crazy redneck like me, and I don't think that the public would be confident if they have some of the media elite to protect them.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman.
Ms. Johnson and then Mr. Ehlers.
Ms. JOHNSON OF TEXAS. Just one quick question. It is very popular now to carry bottles of water, and there are a number of passengers that I have seen bring, you know, bottles of water onto the plane. There are a number of inflammables thatflammables that look like water. Is there a way of which you are detecting that?
Mr. PARESI. Yes. The scans can determine the difference between water and explosives in our automatic detection process.
Ms. JOHNSON OF TEXAS. I am sorry, I didn't hear.
Mr. PARESI. Yes. The answer is these machines automatically detect explosives. They differentiate explosive liquids from water.
Ms. JOHNSON OF TEXAS. Thank you.
Mr. DEFAZIO. Would the gentlelady yield on that?
But at this point you are not using your machines for carry-ons?
Mr. PARESI. Yes. We havewe think that all of these technologies need to be fielded.
Mr. DEFAZIO. Right. The point I am getting at is I think maybe in the short term, and I have suggested this previously to the FAA, that we prohibit individuals carrying liquids on board planes, just prohibit it. Then when we have what we believe is reliable security in every on-board screening device in the United States of America, then we can go back to allowing people to carry liquids on board. Do you have a problem with that?
Mr. PARESI. No.
Mr. MUNTZ. If I just may add, we do have a subsidiary company, Chronomagnetics, that has, in fact, developed the bottom scanner for that very application. It is not being used, and it is not required, but there is technology that can do that now.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. DEFAZIO. Right.
Mr. O'BRYON. If I could add, too, in the baseline bomb detection set, we do look not only at solids, but also liquids in that.
Mr. DEFAZIO. I thank her for bringing this up because I have raised this concern some time ago, and I continue to have this concern. I am going to go into that a little bit here in the next session. Thank you.
Mr. MICA. Mr. Ehlers.
Mr. EHLERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me comment, it was with grade pleasure I note that Mr. DeFazio and I agree on something, and that would be to ban carry-on water bottles because they are both explosives and flammables that look very much like water.
Mr. Chairman, I just wanted to comment I have missed most of this hearing. I was conducting a hearing on the other side of the building about natural disasters, so this is not a very comforting day. But I want to just put in a positive light here. We talk about all the bad things that can happen. What we can also be thankful for is how few of those bad things actually happen and how flying is incredibly safe.
We have to restore the American public's confidence in flying. Every day since September 11th we have had more deaths in car accidents over a 2-day period than we had in all four airplanes that were involved in the September 11th issue. When you look at travel, as everyone knows, even including the hijackings and terrorist killings, flying is still the safest mode of transportation, and I am afraid people are discouraged frombeing discouraged from going to visit their new grandchild or to take a vacation simply because of the stories they have heard. We cannot let the terrorists win by doing that.
I just want to emphasize to everyone flying is a very safe activity, and I encourage the public to do it. I also recognize we have the responsibility to make sure that it is as safe as humanly possible, and we will do that. But there is no reason in the world for people to stay off airplanes in the meantime because they are probably going to be a lot safer there than they are sitting at home.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman.
Thank our witnesses today for their cooperation and participation. I am going to dismiss all of the witnesses.
Mr. O'Bryon, you are the only government witness. If you could join us for the closed session after we hear from Ms. Garvey and Mr. Mead, we would appreciate it. Again, we will excuse you at this time. Thank you for your testimony.
Let me call our second panel, and our second panel today consists of the Honorable Jane Garvey, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration. The second witness is Kenneth R. Mead. He is the inspector general of the Department of Transportation.
Go ahead. I guess we have got our two witnesses seated.
Let me recognize first and welcome Jane Garvey, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. Welcome, and you are recognized.
STATEMENT OF JANE F. GARVEY, ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION; AND KENNETH M. MEAD, INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Ms. GARVEY. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here with you today.
I would like to cover two comments in my opening statement this morning. One is the status of the existing technology, where we are today; and secondly, and perhaps more importantly, where we are headed, what our focus will be for the future. I know some of the issues that have been raised will need to be discussed in closed session. And I certainly look forward to answering some more detailed questions in the closed sessions.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC First of all, I want to thank Congress and thank in particular this committee. With your help we have invested $440 million. We have invested every dollar that Congress has provided us over the last 4 years to purchase and deploy explosive detection systems, explosive trace detection devices, and threat image technologies. We have used those dollars and invested them.
In the days and the weeks ahead, I know we will be working with Congress and certainly look forward to the leadership of this committee as we shape the budget for 2002. We are very pleased and gratified to see that in the supplemental appropriation, additional funds have already been provided to enhance aviation security.
As members of this committee know, there are two manufacturers with certified EDS products. One, discussed a little bit earlier, has had some operational difficulties, but we are encouraged by the improvements that the vendor has made to the software and the hardware. I would mention that we are sending a joint FAA-IG team to Dallas-Fort Worth to take a look at the operation, make sure everything is as it should be, and assuming that everything is on target, we will be getting that technology out as well.
I would also like to address, if I could, the issue of warehousing the products, because I know that has come up this morning in the discussion. Currently there are 19 machines that are warehoused. Nine of them are those machines that have had some of the operational difficulties. As I said, we are addressing those. The other 10 are machines that are there for a couple of reasons. They are there because it is a secure location, and it is critical and important that we keep these machines in a secure location while the sites are being provided. These machines weigh about 17,000 pounds, so there is some site preparation at an airport that needs to occur before the machines are deployed.
But even before September 11th we had a plan, as I think had been mentioned by the previous panel, to deploy that equipment or those machines and to deploy them by early summer. We have moved that up, and all of the machines will be deployed within 90 days. People are working literally around the clock to make sure that happens.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The inspector general points out in his testimony that he believes the machines are underutilized. That has been mentioned again this morning by other members of the panel. We agree. We have required the airlines to use the machines continuously. We are enforcing that. As we move forward, we are also looking at exactly what the right number should be.
I want to go back to a comment that was made a little bit earlier. In addition to focusing on the number of machines, we are focusing on the appropriate rate of detection, and that is a good question, the right question. We have to be equally focused on the quality of the detecting, making sure that the personnel are detecting exactly what they should be. So quality of detection is equally as important as the number of machines.
We are aggressively pursuing other technologies that can be deployed. It was mentioned a little bit earlier, and I will underscore, that we have three vendors under a grant program at our technical center developing a smaller version of EDS. That came up again through one of the questions that was asked about what we can do for smaller airports. This is a technology that I think holds great promise for some of the smaller airports. We are now working with those vendors to see if we can move their schedules forward. They were originally scheduled to go into deployment in about a year. A great deal of discussion has occurred over the last week or so with a number of manufacturers about how quickly we can get production into high gear so that the equipment can be deployed.
Like a number of you, and I think Congressman Horn mentioned it this morning, we have received thousands of proposals and suggestions and ideas. Some of them have been received in a very informal way, but we have also requested proposals in a more formal way. They are due the last week in October. We have an assembled a team of experts from outside the FAA to work with us in assessing these technologies. They will have their first report in just about a month's time. They have already begun the work, and we are looking forward to the results of those proposals.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I will just mention that this team that we have in place is a subset of our standing research and development team that is focused on security. Their people, outside experts, and you are going to be extraordinarily helpful.
I think it is also important to note that aside from the technologies that are certified by the FAA, there are a variety of technologies currently available if either an air carrier or an airport wants to use them. We know, for example, that an airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, is currently testing iris recognition as a means to verify airport personnel. Chicago and San Francisco are similarly testing hand and fingerprint technologies for employee verification.
Just as a personal observation, I think this whole area of biometrics is one that I would like to see all of us embrace and in advanced an even more aggressive fashion. As we move ahead, we must keep in mind, as some of you have suggested this morning, that there is probably no one single solution. Just as we build a number of redundancies in our air traffic control systems, and in our aircraft operations, we need to look at security layers. And there will not be just one single answer, but it will be a combination of approaches. Some of the technologies that we have heard about, some even this morning, hold great promise. Some also pose some very significant challenges. We are very much aware of that. I think the goal must be for 100 percent screening of all passengers, of baggage, and airport and airline personnel.
It will, as someone mentioned earlier, take an increased level of commitment. I want to underscore that. We need to shoulder our share of the responsibility, but an increased level of commitment must be shared by not just the executive branch, but also, of course, by Congress, by the airlines, by airports and by the American public.
Thank you very much, and I look forward to answering questions in a closed testimony.
Mr. MICA. Thank you.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We will now hear from Kenneth R. Mead, inspector general of the Department of Transportation. Welcome, and you are recognized.
Mr. MEAD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think you have to group these issues into short-term and longer-term clusters. For the short term I think there are some actions that you can take very soon, and in the longer term I think we are moving, as the Administrator says, to 100 percent screening. And you want to move to a 100 percent screening without bringing the system to a halt.
I would like to say a few words about that. Three short-term areas I would like to discuss arefirst, the use of the equipment we now have out there; second, the deployment reliability of the equipment, the warehousing issue that you have heard about; and third, the use of equipment you alluded to, Mr. Chairman, in your opening remarks that we train the screeners on. And finally, I would like to close with a word about the steps that we need to take to move towards 100 percent screening of luggage.
First, use of bulk explosive detection systems. These are the systems used to screen passengers' checked luggage. They are similar to an MRI-type machine. These machines continue to be seriously underutilized, and this has been a problem going back to 1998. These machines cost about $1 million each; cost between $300,000 and $1.2 million to install; and cost up to $55,000 a year just to maintain. In July of this year, machines systemwide where on average screening about 350 bags a day. The machines are certified to handle 225 bags per hour, and in an operational environment we think these machines are capable of screening about 150 bags per hour, or 1,500 in a 10-hour period. We can go into some details on that in the closed session, but I don't want to go too much beyond that here.
Two of the overriding reasons for the low usage rates today are, one, until recently air carriers were required only to screen the luggage of passengers who were selected as a result of the computer-assisted passenger prescreening system. That is the automated system that is designed to prescreen persons that require additional security checks. It does not yield a lot of selectees. Number two, the air carriers themselves are reluctant to increase the use of the machines in their belief that passengers won't accept the inconvenience and possible delays.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC However, after September 11th, FAA said, ''you have got to continuously use these machines.'' Well, we have made some recent visits to several major airports, and I don't think the continuous use directive is going to work. It is too fuzzy, there's too much discretion in it, and I don't think it is going to result in a change. So I think the direction we need to move in is to come up with, at least on an interim basis, a mandate to increase the usage possibly by as much as 300 to 400 percent per day on the majority of the machines which would give you a yield of 1,000 bags per day. That would be up from the average of about 350. That would be a big improvement. And I know it is fairly arbitrary, but I don't have a good interim solution that would result in substantially increased usage.
Second, on the warehousing issue, prior to September 11th, FAA had 22 bulk explosives detection systems stored in the warehouse; 13 of the 22 systems were CTX machines. They are manufactured by InVision Technologies, which you heard from earlier. They have the vast majority of the systems out there. The other nine machines were manufactured by L-3 Communications. As the Administrator said, these machines are still in the warehouse, and FAA has now found the dollars to move the InVision machines out, and I think they will be out very soon, if they are not substantially out already.
The L-3 machines, though, are another story. There have been some operational reliability issues stemming from their operation mostly at Dallas-Fort Worth, and there have been high levels of unscheduled maintenance required. When you do get maintenance calls, it takes a mean time of about 6 hours to fix the problem, and during that time, of course, the machine is not operational. So, as Ms. Garvey has indicated, FAA and we are going to dispatch a team to get to the bottom of what the operational problems are.
I think the competition factor is very important--to have more than one firm manufacturing these systems, and I think we ought to try to make this work. We need to get to the bottom of the operational problems, though, before we field equipment that may not work as intended.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I should say a word about the human factor issue as a major component in this explosives detection equipment. The CTX, we found, was very capable of identifying the threats it is intended to identify. FAA has developed threat image projection (TIP) technology, which is like a computer software that can be run on both the CTX machines and X-ray machines at screening checkpoints. TIP puts up fictitious images of a threat that can be used to test the screener performance. It is very important that this be deployed with great vigor.
However, I am concerned that when they deploy this threat image projection technology that they have some standards for what they are going to expect of these screeners. For example, is it okay to detect a threat image 60 percent of the time, 70 percent of the time, 90 percent of the time? I think we need to have a standard by which we can measure the performance so we can say what is and is not acceptable.
I would like to close by alluding to the 100 percent screening goal. It is going to be important that we take two major steps to do that. One is going to be funding new technology that will accurately detect explosives by processing more luggage.
The second very important step is that you integrate these machines in with the baggage handling systems of the airlines. This is going to require a big investment. Right now you see most of these machines located in airport lobbies next to the airlines check-in counters. So no wonder there is a passenger inconvenience factor. In Europe, in many cases you hear about how they screen all these bags. They screen them because the machines are integrated in the baggage handling system.
This committee has a lot to say about where airport grant improvement funds go. This is a big opportunity for you here. I think no matter how great a machine it is, if it is not integrated in with the regular bag system, you are going to hear again and again about the delay and inconvenience factor.
And I will conclude with that, Mr. Chairman.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MICA. I want to thank both of our witnesses for their testimony, public testimony today. We are going to recess and reconvene in about 5 minutes in room 2253.
Mr. DUNCAN. Will you yield just briefly? I would like to say something in public for the record on one minor thing.
I have seen some of these companies involved in security, not just aviation security, but they seem to have dollar signs in front of their eyes right at this time. I notice in today's Washington Times that Donald Lambro, a nationally syndicated columnist, has written a letter. He says, ''An aroused and angry Congress is providing the emergency relief and defense funds needed to fully respond to the terrorist attacks, but some people are shamefully exploiting this terrible tragedy to squeeze money out of the Treasury for their own special interests.''.
I just wanted to say that before we go into private session that, Ms. Garvey, if you see that happening with the FAA, I mean, we want to spend the money that is necessary to protect people as much as possible, but if you see some of these companies that you deal with greatly increasing their prices or trying to exploit this tragedy, I wish you would jump all over them and, if it continues, to let us know so that we can take legislative action or go to the floor of the House and attack them, because that is terrible. It is similar to these gasyou know, there were a few gas stations that raised their prices as high as $5 a gallon immediately after this happened. But some of this is being done quietly in a much, much bigger way throughout the Federal Government today. And so we don't need to talk about that in private session, we need to talk about that in public session if you see that happening with the FAA.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MICA. Thank you.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. EHLERS. Just a brief statement also for the record.
It is now 1 month since the tragedy in New York. I just wanted to say something to the FAA employees and particularly Administrator Garvey. It has been a really, really rough month for this whole Nation, but especially rough month for them. I want to go on the record as thanking Administrator Garvey and all the FAA employees for dealing with all the difficulties we have had this month and also all of the public criticism that they have received. I just want to thank you and say I appreciate the work you have done.
Mr. MICA. Mr. Boswell.
Mr. BOSWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Just briefly I want to associate myself with those same remarks said. Thanks.
Mr. MICA. Mr. Cooksey.
Mr. COOKSEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I, too, I feel the FAA has always had some real professionals. I think you do a great job. I don't think the average person in the public arenaI know a lot of politicians don't realizethe magnitude of the work you do.
Now, that said, 2 weeks ago I had requested some information that was really public information, and I have not yet received it. I had requested some details on the list of the hijackings that have occurred since 1960 or 1970. I would tell you 1970, but I would like to have since 1960. I really wanted some idea about the hijackings that have occurred domestically and worldwide, the people that did the hijackings, where the hijackingswhere the flight originated from, where its destination was.
Ms. GARVEY. I am sorry, I didn't know you had requested it.
Mr. COOKSEY. I tried to request it through quiet channels, but I would like to make it official.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MICA. There being no further business before this open session, Mr. Boswell moves that the record be open for a period of 30 days for additional statements or insertions into the record. Without objection, so ordered.
At this time the subcommittee stands in recess. We will reconvene in closed session, room 2253.
[Whereupon, at 12:53 p.m., the committee adjourned, to reconvene in closed session.]