Washington — Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today delivered remarks at the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) International Awards Dinner- highlighting the Department's ongoing efforts to bolster aviation security and thanking the nation's airline pilots, including the crew members who thwarted the attempted terrorist attack on December 25, 2009, for their work everyday to ensure that air travelers reach their destinations safely and securely.
"As the crew of Flight 253 demonstrated during the attempted attack on Christmas Day, airline pilots and all crew members are a critical part of our layered approach to aviation security," said Secretary Napolitano. "Over the past eight months, DHS has been leading a global initiative, in close collaboration with our international and industry partners, including America's airline pilots, to strengthen the international aviation system against the evolving threats posed by terrorists."
In her remarks, Secretary Napolitano underscored the Department's efforts to develop and implement stronger international aviation security measures-including her participation over the past year in five regional aviation security summits around the world which have resulted in historic declarations to bolster the civil aviation system by developing and deploying new security technologies, strengthening security measures and standards, enhancing information collection and sharing and coordinating international technical assistance.
She also highlighted two major milestones achieved recently by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA): implementation of Secure Flight-under which TSA assumes responsibility from air carriers for checking passenger manifests against government watchlists-for all domestic and international flights operated by U.S. carriers, and 100 percent screening of air cargo that travels domestically or departs from the United States.
Additionally, Secretary Napolitano stressed the Department's deployment of state-of-the-art technologies such as Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT), which safely screens passengers for both metallic and non-metallic threats that may be concealed under a passenger's clothes, at airports across the United States. To date, more than 180 machines are currently in use at 45 airports throughout the nation. The Department will continue to deploy additional machines in the coming months.