View all text of Subchapter I [§ 44901 - § 44929]

§ 44901.
Screening passengers and property
(a)
In General.—
The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall provide for the screening of all passengers and property, including United States mail, cargo, carry-on and checked baggage, and other articles, that will be carried aboard a passenger aircraft operated by an air carrier or foreign air carrier in air transportation or intrastate air transportation. In the case of flights and flight segments originating in the United States, the screening shall take place before boarding and shall be carried out by a Federal Government employee (as defined in section 2105 of title 5), except as otherwise provided in section 44920 and except for identifying passengers and baggage for screening under the CAPPS and known shipper programs and conducting positive bag-match programs.
(b)
Supervision of Screening.—
All screening of passengers and property at airports in the United States where screening is required under this section shall be supervised by uniformed Federal personnel of the Transportation Security Administration who shall have the power to order the dismissal of any individual performing such screening.
(c)
Checked Baggage.—
A system must be in operation to screen all checked baggage at all airports in the United States as soon as practicable.
(d)
Explosives Detection Systems.—
(1)
In general.—
The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall take all necessary action to ensure that—
(A) explosives detection systems are deployed as soon as possible to ensure that all United States airports described in section 44903(c) have sufficient explosives detection systems to screen all checked baggage, and that as soon as such systems are in place at an airport, all checked baggage at the airport is screened by those systems; and
(B) all systems deployed under subparagraph (A) are fully utilized; and
(C) if explosives detection equipment at an airport is unavailable, all checked baggage is screened by an alternative means.
(2)
Preclearance airports.—
(A)
In general.—
For a flight or flight segment originating at an airport outside the United States and traveling to the United States with respect to which checked baggage has been screened in accordance with an aviation security preclearance agreement between the United States and the country in which such airport is located, the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration may, in coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, determine whether such baggage must be re-screened in the United States by an explosives detection system before such baggage continues on any additional flight or flight segment.
(B)
Aviation security preclearance agreement defined.—
In this paragraph, the term “aviation security preclearance agreement” means an agreement that delineates and implements security standards and protocols that are determined by the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, in coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to be comparable to those of the United States and therefore sufficiently effective to enable passengers to deplane into sterile areas of airports in the United States.
(C)
Rescreening requirement.—
If the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration determines that the government of a foreign country has not maintained security standards and protocols comparable to those of the United States at airports at which preclearance operations have been established in accordance with this paragraph, the Administrator shall ensure that Transportation Security Administration personnel rescreen passengers arriving from such airports and their property in the United States before such passengers are permitted into sterile areas of airports in the United States.
(D)
Report.—
The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate an annual report on the re-screening of baggage under this paragraph. Each such report shall include the following for the year covered by the report:
(i) A list of airports outside the United States from which a flight or flight segment traveled to the United States for which the Administrator determined, in accordance with the authority under subparagraph (A), that checked baggage was not required to be re-screened in the United States by an explosives detection system before such baggage continued on an additional flight or flight segment.
(ii) The amount of Federal savings generated from the exercise of such authority.
(e)
Mandatory Screening Where EDS Not Yet Available.—
As soon as practicable and until the requirements of subsection (b)(1)(A) are met, the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall require alternative means for screening any piece of checked baggage that is not screened by an explosives detection system. Such alternative means may include 1 or more of the following:
(1) A bag-match program that ensures that no checked baggage is placed aboard an aircraft unless the passenger who checked the baggage is aboard the aircraft.
(2) Manual search.
(3) Search by canine explosives detection units in combination with other means.
(4) Other means or technology approved by the Administrator.
(f)
Cargo Deadline.—
A system must be in operation to screen, inspect, or otherwise ensure the security of all cargo that is to be transported in all-cargo aircraft in air transportation and intrastate air transportation as soon as practicable.
(g)
Air Cargo on Passenger Aircraft.—
(1)
In general.—
The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish a system to screen 100 percent of cargo transported on passenger aircraft operated by an air carrier or foreign air carrier in air transportation or intrastate air transportation to ensure the security of all such passenger aircraft carrying cargo.
(2)
Minimum standards.—
The system referred to in paragraph (1) shall require, at a minimum, that equipment, technology, procedures, personnel, or other methods approved by the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, are used to screen cargo carried on passenger aircraft described in paragraph (1) to provide a level of security commensurate with the level of security for the screening of passenger checked baggage.
(3)
Regulations.—
The Secretary of Homeland Security shall issue a final rule as a permanent regulation to implement this subsection in accordance with the provisions of chapter 5 of title 5.
(4)
Screening defined.—
In this subsection the term “screening” means a physical examination or non-intrusive methods of assessing whether cargo poses a threat to transportation security. Methods of screening include x-ray systems, explosives detection systems, explosives trace detection, explosives detection canine teams certified by the Transportation Security Administration, or a physical search together with manifest verification. The Administrator may approve additional methods to ensure that the cargo does not pose a threat to transportation security and to assist in meeting the requirements of this subsection. Such additional cargo screening methods shall not include solely performing a review of information about the contents of cargo or verifying the identity of a shipper of the cargo that is not performed in conjunction with other security methods authorized under this subsection, including whether a known shipper is registered in the known shipper database. Such additional cargo screening methods may include a program to certify the security methods used by shippers pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) and alternative screening methods pursuant to exemptions referred to in subsection (b) of section 1602 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.
(h)
Deployment of Armed Personnel.—
(1)
In general.—
The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall order the deployment of law enforcement personnel authorized to carry firearms at each airport security screening location to ensure passenger safety and national security.
(2)
Minimum requirements.—
Except at airports required to enter into agreements under subsection (c), the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall order the deployment of at least 1 law enforcement officer at each airport security screening location. At the 100 largest airports in the United States, in terms of annual passenger enplanements for the most recent calendar year for which data are available, the Administrator shall order the deployment of additional law enforcement personnel at airport security screening locations if the Administrator determines that the additional deployment is necessary to ensure passenger safety and national security.
(i)
Exemptions and Advising Congress on Regulations.—
The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration—
(1) may exempt from this section air transportation operations, except scheduled passenger operations of an air carrier providing air transportation under a certificate issued under section 41102 of this title or a permit issued under section 41302 of this title; and
(2) shall advise Congress of a regulation to be prescribed under this section at least 30 days before the effective date of the regulation, unless the Administrator decides an emergency exists requiring the regulation to become effective in fewer than 30 days and notifies Congress of that decision.
(j)
Blast-Resistant Cargo Containers.—
(1)
In general.—
The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall—
(A) evaluate the results of the blast-resistant cargo container pilot program that was initiated before August 3, 2007; and
(B) prepare and distribute through the Aviation Security Advisory Committee to the appropriate Committees 1
1 So in original. Probably should be “committees”.
of Congress and air carriers a report on that evaluation which may contain nonclassified and classified sections.
(2)
Acquisition, maintenance, and replacement.—
Upon completion and consistent with the results of the evaluation that paragraph (1)(A) requires, the Administrator shall—
(A) develop and implement a program, as the Administrator determines appropriate, to acquire, maintain, and replace blast-resistant cargo containers;
(B) pay for the program; and
(C) make available blast-resistant cargo containers to air carriers pursuant to paragraph (3).
(3)
Distribution to air carriers.—
The Administrator shall make available, beginning not later than July 1, 2008, blast-resistant cargo containers to air carriers for use on a risk managed basis as determined by the Administrator.
(k)
General Aviation Airport Security Program.—
(1)
In general.—
The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall—
(A) develop a standardized threat and vulnerability assessment program for general aviation airports (as defined in section 47134(m)); 2
2 See References in Text note below.
and
(B) implement a program to perform such assessments on a risk-managed basis at general aviation airports.
(2)
Grant program.—
The Administrator shall initiate and complete a study of the feasibility of a program, based on a risk-managed approach, to provide grants to operators of general aviation airports (as defined in section 47134(m)) 1 for projects to upgrade security at such airports. If the Administrator determines that such a program is feasible, the Administrator shall establish such a program.
(3)
Application to general aviation aircraft.—
The Administrator shall develop a risk-based system under which—
(A) general aviation aircraft, as identified by the Administrator, in coordination with the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, are required to submit passenger information and advance notification requirements for United States Customs and Border Protection before entering United States airspace; and
(B) such information is checked against appropriate databases.
(4)
Authorization of appropriations.—
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration such sums as may be necessary to carry out paragraphs (2) and (3).
(l)
Limitations on Use of Advanced Imaging Technology for Screening Passengers.—
(1)
Definitions.—
In this subsection, the following definitions apply:
(A)
Advanced imaging technology.—
The term “advanced imaging technology”—
(i) means a device used in the screening of passengers that creates a visual image of an individual showing the surface of the skin and revealing other objects on the body; and
(ii) may include devices using backscatter x-rays or millimeter waves and devices referred to as “whole-body imaging technology” or “body scanning machines”.
(B)
Appropriate congressional committees.—
The term “appropriate congressional committees” means—
(i) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate; and
(ii) the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives.
(C)
Automatic target recognition software.—
The term “automatic target recognition software” means software installed on an advanced imaging technology that produces a generic image of the individual being screened that is the same as the images produced for all other screened individuals.
(2)
Use of advanced imaging technology.—
The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall ensure that any advanced imaging technology used for the screening of passengers under this section—
(A) is equipped with and employs automatic target recognition software; and
(B) complies with such other requirements as the Administrator determines necessary to address privacy considerations.
(3)
Extension.—
(A)
In general.—
The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration may extend the deadline specified in paragraph (2), if the Administrator determines that—
(i) an advanced imaging technology equipped with automatic target recognition software is not substantially as effective at screening passengers as an advanced imaging technology without such software; or
(ii) additional testing of such software is necessary.
(B)
Duration of extensions.—
The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration may issue one or more extensions under subparagraph (A). The duration of each extension may not exceed one year.
(4)
Reports.—
(A)
In general.—
Not later than 60 days after the date on which the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration issues any extension under paragraph (3), the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the implementation of this subsection.
(B)
Elements.—
A report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include the following:
(i) A description of all matters the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration considers relevant to the implementation of the requirements of this subsection.
(ii) The status of compliance by the Transportation Security Administration with such requirements.
(iii)
If the Administration is not in full compliance with such requirements—
(I) the reasons for the noncompliance; and(II) a timeline depicting when the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration expects the Administration to achieve full compliance.
(C)
Security classification.—
To the greatest extent practicable, a report prepared under subparagraph (A) shall be submitted in an unclassified format. If necessary, the report may include a classified annex.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1204; Pub. L. 107–71, title I, §§ 101(f)(7), 110(b), Nov. 19, 2001, 115 Stat. 603, 614; Pub. L. 107–296, title IV, § 425, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2185; Pub. L. 110–53, title XVI, §§ 1602(a), 1609, 1617, Aug. 3, 2007, 121 Stat. 477, 484, 488; Pub. L. 112–95, title VIII, § 826, Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 132; Pub. L. 112–218, § 2, Dec. 20, 2012, 126 Stat. 1593; Pub. L. 114–125, title VIII, § 815, Feb. 24, 2016, 130 Stat. 220; Pub. L. 115–254, div. K, title I, §§ 1937(b)(3), 1991(d)(1), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3579, 3627.)