Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act of 2011 - Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for FY2012-FY2013. Directs the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (TSA) to carry out a risk-based program at airport checkpoints that expedites screening for trusted passengers, including members of the Armed Forces and their families.
Requires the Assistant Secretary to carry out a program to ensure appropriate treatment in the screening of individuals with metal implants, prosthetics, and physical disabilities traveling by airplane.
Prohibits pat-down screening of an air passenger child, unless a screening anomaly cannot be reasonably resolved by checkpoint technology.
Directs the Assistant Secretary to establish requirements for screening technologies for all carry-on baggage and cargo destined for commercial aircraft.
Requires the Assistant Secretary to ensure that by the end of 2013 at least 100 explosives detection canine teams are used to screen passengers at large U.S. airports.
Directs the Assistant Secretary, working in cooperation with the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to develop a pilot program at a large airport to test the feasibility of streamlining aviation security screening of baggage and passengers arriving in the United States who continue on domestic flights to a final destination.
Prescribes requirements for:
(1) standardization of operating procedures at airport checkpoints for passengers and carry-on baggage,
(2) installation of automated targeting recognition software on all advanced imaging technology machines deployed in commercial airports for passenger screening, and
(3) the disabling of image retention on all advanced imaging technology used to screen passengers.
Directs the Assistant Secretary to ensure that advance notice of a covert test of a transportation security system is not provided to any individual (including any security screener) before completion of the test.
Requires the Assistant Secretary to establish recurring training of transportation security officers on updated screening procedures and technologies.
Establishes in the TSA an Office of the Ombudsman. Authorizes the Secretary to establish a voluntary air cargo advanced screening pilot program (ACAS Program) for targeting high-risk cargo entering the United States. Directs the Assistant Secretary to:
(1) develop a process to certify third-party explosive detection canines for the screening of air cargo; and
(2) encourage airports to develop clear reporting procedures for sharing information among federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel and airport Federal Security Directors. Requires the Assistant Secretary to conduct an efficiency review of TSA to identify spending reductions and savings through the streamlining and restructuring of its divisions.
Directs the Secretary, acting through the Assistant Secretary, to develop a strategic plan to reduce the TSA workforce by 5% by the end of FY2013. Directs the Assistant Secretary to establish in the TSA the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, including air cargo security and general aviation security working groups.
Requires the Assistant Secretary to submit to Congress detailed acquisition and deployment plans for checkpoint security technology, explosive detection systems, and air cargo security technology for large commercial airports.
Prescribes requirements for criminal investigative training for newly hired federal air marshals.
Requires the Assistant Secretary to develop a strategic risk-based plan to improve airport transportation security that includes best practices to make airport perimeter access controls more secure.
Requires the Assistant Secretary to study electromagnetic emission and radiation exposure from passenger and baggage screening equipment at commercial service airports.
Amends the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 to direct the Assistant Secretary to establish a process for resolving reimbursement claims for airports that have incurred eligible costs for development of partial or completed in-line baggage systems.
Directs the Assistant Secretary to:
(1) review the process for amending airport security plans,
(2) develop security procedures to enable aircraft operators subject to TSA security programs to obtain access to temporarily restricted airspace, and
(3) assess periodically the risk of domestic and international flights to determine the optimal assignment of air marshals to highest risk flights.
Authorizes the Assistant Secretary to donate, loan, or lease obsolete airport equipment, as well as provide training and other assistance, to foreign airports to mitigate assessed security vulnerabilities.
Includes as an allowable airport improvement (AIP) cost projects to reconfigure or construct new terminal baggage areas as needed to install explosive detection systems.
Requires the Secretary to establish a task force on crimes that disqualify individuals from transportation-related employment.
Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Secretary to issue final regulations prohibiting commercial motor vehicle operators and shippers from transporting a security-sensitive material without holding a valid transportation security card.
Directs the Secretary to prohibit Mexican or Canadian licensed commercial motor vehicle operators from transporting a security-sensitive material in the United States without being subjected to, and not disqualified as a result of, a security threat assessment by a federal agency.
Requires the Assistant Secretary to:
(1) develop qualitative performance measures and objectives for assessing the effectiveness of Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams in providing transportation security, and
(2) implement an interoperability of communications plan for VIPR team operations.
Revises public transportation security grant requirements.
Makes law enforcement agencies eligible for such grants.
Directs the Assistant Secretary to conduct a freight rail security demonstration project.
Requires the Assistant Secretary to increase the number of explosives detection canine teams certified by the TSA for passenger rail and public transportation security activities.
Directs the Comptroller General to study the roles of DHS and the Department of Transportation (DOT) with respect to pipeline safety.
Repeals the prohibition against installation or utilization of motor carrier security-sensitive material tracking technology without additional congressional authority.
Directs the Assistant Secretary to establish in the TSA the Surface Transportation Advisory Committee, including passenger carrier security and freight rail security working groups.
Directs the Secretary, acting through the Assistant Secretary, to develop a plan that includes best practices to improve intelligence information sharing with state and local transportation entities.