In response to the recent U.S. national disaster and the nation’s clear need for enhanced airline security measures, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has sent a letter to its congress outlining its suggestions for keeping America’s skies safe.
The nation’s air travel security should no longer be the domain of private enterprise, said the letter, but rather the Secret Service should be appointed as the guardians of the skies.
ASTA President and CEO Richard M. Copland, CTC, wrote: “The Secret Service is uniquely equipped by its institutional culture, history and training to serve this function.
“The interaction and balance of the many factors that must be considered in providing secure yet efficient air travel is best understood and carried out by a law enforcement agency whose primary focus is protective, rather than investigative, custodial, interdictive or enforcement oriented.
“These new responsibilities for protecting American air commerce are logical extensions of the Secret Service’s mission. … We recognize, of course, that this expanded responsibility would require a very rapid and substantial increase in the agency’s resources and personnel. The same is true, however, of the creation of any new agency or the assignment to any other existing agency of federal responsibility for aviation security. It is the Secret Service, however, that already has the core competencies and focus to undertake the task. … We recognize as well that such a program would entail significant costs. That, however, is a burden we can no longer afford to decline.”