Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1204, the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security. This bipartisan bill passed by a vote of 411-3. It authorizes the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) in law to ensure that stakeholders are consulted and included in TSA’s aviation security policy efforts, particularly when there are plans to change how aviation security is conducted. The bill directs the inclusion of representatives from a wide range of stakeholders including air carriers, aircraft manufacturers, airport operators, general aviation stakeholders, labor organizations and passenger groups.
Congressman Thompson released the following statement on passage of this bill:
“TSA’s decision to allow knives on planes, by removing it from the ‘Prohibited Items List,’ without consulting the ASAC earlier this year underscores the need for TSA to engage in meaningful consultation and coordination with stakeholders on aviation security. In the past, the charter of this crucial advisory committee has been allowed to expire – we must not let that happen again. That is why it is important that we codify it into law. I am pleased that the House agreed and this bill passed overwhelmingly today.”