Transportation Security: Actions Needed to Address Limitations in TSA's Transportation Worker Security Threat Assessments and Growing Workload Page: 6 of 72
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Accountability * Integrity * Reliability
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548
December 8, 2011
The Honorable John D. Rockefeller IV
The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison
Committee on Commerce, Science,
United States Senate
The Honorable Peter T. King
The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson
Committee on Homeland Security
House of Representatives
Securing transportation systems and facilities requires balancing security
to address potential threats while facilitating the flow of people and goods
that are critical to the U.S. economy and international commerce. Since
9/11, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) within the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken steps to ensure that
transportation workers, particularly those that transport hazardous
materials or have unescorted access to secure areas of federally
regulated maritime or airport transportation facilities are properly
screened to ensure they do not pose a security threat.1 These efforts are
intended to reduce the probability of a successful terrorist or other
1Under Coast Guard maritime security regulations, a secure area, in general, is an area
over which the owner/operator has implemented security measures for access control in
accordance with a Coast Guard-approved security plan. For most maritime facilities, the
secure area is generally any place inside the outer-most access control point. For a vessel
or outer continental shelf facility, such as off-shore petroleum or gas production facilities,
the secure area is generally the whole vessel or facility. Secured airport areas include
those portions of an airport, specified in the airport security program, for which security
measures are conducted and generally include three categories. In general (1) a Security
Identification Display Area (SIDA) is an area in which appropriate identification must be
worn, (2) a sterile area provides passengers access to boarding aircraft and is an area to
which access is generally controlled by TSA or a private screening entity under TSA
oversight, and (3) an Air Operations Area is an area providing access to aircraft
movements and parking areas. See 49 C.F.R. 1540.5.
GAO-12-60 Transportation Security
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Transportation Security: Actions Needed to Address Limitations in TSA's Transportation Worker Security Threat Assessments and Growing Workload, report, December 8, 2011; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302673/m1/6/: accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.