TSA to Deploy Airside Vulnerability Reduction Team Initiative

The Transportation Security Administration recently announced establishment of a new security initiative aimed at further enhancing airport airside and perimeter security. The Airside Vulnerability Reduction Team program will strengthen the coordination of work by TSA, law enforcement, airline, and airport security partners to reduce vulnerabilities to airport airside operations, the agency said. Airside is defined as the secure side of the airport, which includes the tarmac.

The new initiative will be headed by Willie Williams who served as federal security director at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport since the start of TSA operations there in 2002. Prior to joining TSA, Williams served as police chief for the cities of Los Angeles and Philadelphia. He has 44 years of law enforcement and federal security experience. "Willie is truly one of the nation's leaders in law enforcement and an experienced innovator in community policing," said Mo McGowan, TSA assistant administrator for Security Operations. "His specialized law enforcement experience and knowledge gained as security director of the world's busiest airport make him uniquely suited for this initiative." In leading the new project Williams also will serve as the TSA national liaison to law enforcement organizations across the country.

TSA has employed several measures including the Aviation Direct Access Screening Program (ADASP) and Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) operations to enhance perimeter security. Seven airports are currently participating in employee screening pilots.

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