A little more than a year into the Obama administration, the Transportation Security Administration remains without a permanent administrator, yet it has already faced a major test: a Nigerian man's thwarted attempt last December to detonate a bomb as his flight from Amsterdam to Detroit approached its destination.
Since then, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has held numerous meetings with representatives of the airline industry and with top government officials from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North America to bolster the international aviation security system. DHS has also required enhanced screening of foreign nationals who have passports from or whose route included countries that are considered state sponsors of terrorism. The department is also accelerating the deployment of body scanners in U.S. airports and beefing up the presence of federal air marshals on international flights bound for the United States. For its part, TSA has proposed rules to strengthen security at foreign and domestic aircraft repair stations and apply tougher security standards to general aviation.
What are the administration's transportation security priorities? How effective has Secretary Napolitano been in making progress on them? And how do this administration's priorities differ from the previous administration's priorities?