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FLL Attack: US House of Representative Oversight Committee did not act

FLL Attack: US House of Representative Oversight Committee did not act

Why was the U.S. House of Representative Oversights Committee ignoring an urgent letter delivered on April 28, 2016 by Washington DC attorney Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org ?

The United States of America aviation system is not safe according to Flyersrights, and Hudson may have a point, and he may have had a valid warning delivered to the US House committee in April 2016.

Could Mr. Hudson’s warnings, if they were followed by the oversights committee helped to avoid an attack we had seen at Ft. Lauderdale international airport today killing 5 airline passengers?

Chances the gunman would have not made it to the Alaska airport with a gun in his suitcase if an airport perimeter security was a reality at U.S. airports. Such a reality is routine in most parts of the world, including Brussels, Bangkok, India, Israel, just to name some.

Another email Mr. Hudson sent on November 2, 2013 urged for national guards to safeguard airports, including the baggage area.

This is whatPaul Hudson wrote on April 28:

Committee of Oversight
US House of Representatives

RE: Aviation Security and TSA Management Problems

Dear Chairman Chafetz and Ranking Member Cummings:
I am writing to commend the Committee for holding a hearing on TSA mismanagement and to offer our assistance and support in pursuing reforms to protect airline passengers and aviation from terrorist attack.

As way of background, I have been involved in aviation security on behalf of passengers since 1989 after my daughter was killed on Pan Am 103/Lockerbie, see enclosed.

Flyersrights.org is the largest airline passenger organization with over 60,000 members. We operate a toll free hotline 877-FLYERS6, publishes a weekly newsletter, and maintains a staffed office in Washington, DC.

Passengers should be able to count on TSA to protect them but also to notify them of serious security risks. The two principal lessons from Lockerbie and the 9/11 attacks are

1) private security operated by airlines and airports with government oversight consistently failed to prevent aviation terrorism and had even more failings than TSA,

2) the traveling public, not just those with airline and government connections, should be notified of serious terrorist threats.

The principal reforms that we are recommending which have not been addressed at this time are

1) Installing airport perimeter security in light of the Brussels and other airport attacks to detect weapons and explosives on persons entering major airports.

2) Posting routes of flights overflying conflict zones, particularly where militants have the capacity to shoot down airliners as happened in the Eastern Ukraine.

3) Permitting passengers to obtain return of confiscated property by TSA.

4) Providing a transparent process for persons to be notified and potentially removed from the watch list, and for abusive or overly invasive searches.

We previously supported the application of the Whistle Blower statute to TSA and Homeland Security Dept. in a successful amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in 2014. Copy enclosed.

We also successfully opposed the reintroduction of knives in planes in 2013 by former TSA Administrator Pistole.

I have reached out to the TSA for meetings for several years and for passengers to have representation on the Aviation Security Advisory Committee which has currently has no passenger representation other than two air crash groups. The agency has been completely unresponsive.

If the agency has bad managers they need to be fired, and the agency head needs to be held accountable and have the power to hire and fire his top people. In corporations and the military services in wartime, senior officers and CEOs are routinely fired if he/she fails to perform. The VA and other mismanaged agencies seem to have similar problems which relate to a sickness in the civil service system that badly needs reform.

Sincerely,

Paul Hudson, President
FlyersRights.org (2013-present)
Member, FAA/TSA Aviation Security Advisory Committee (1997-2007)
President, Families of Pan Am 103/Lockerbie
Chairman and founder, Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 (1989)
|Executive Director, Aviation Consumer Action Project (1997-2003)

218 D Street SE, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20003

www.flyersrights.org

800-662-1859

 

 

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