Warner, Kaine secure amendment to FAA bill to strengthen U.S. airport security

Posted at 4:20 PM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 16:20:12-04

United States Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine were part of several senators who secured an amendment to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) reauthorization bill to strengthen security in United States airports.

The amendment will focus on “soft target” areas at airports including check-in and baggage claim areas. It was approved by a 91-5 vote.

The legislation would update federal security programs to provide active shooter training for law enforcement and increase the presence of federal agents with bomb-sniffing dogs at non-secure “soft target” areas.

“It’s critical that we tighten up security in vulnerable areas like check-in and baggage claim,” said Senators Warner and Kaine. “In the wake of the recent attacks in Brussels, this is an important step forward in making our airports safer.”

Senators Warner and Kaine supported additional funds for federal, state and local preparedness grant programs to support transportation security investments.

The FAA reauthorization will expand Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams nationwide to enhance security. VIPR teams include law enforcement officials, regulatory inspectors, explosives specialists and screening personnel.

The Senate Democratic measure will also create funding for training exercises to enhance preparedness and response to active shooter incidents at public locations, including airports, mass transit systems and other “soft target” areas. The measure authorizes and makes explicit that State Homeland security funding grants can be used for airport and surface transportation security in non-secure areas.