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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

Bilirakis Passes Bill to Improve Safety of Air Travel

January 9, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC:  Today, Congressman Bilirakis’s Security Assessment Feasibility for Equipment Testing and Evaluation of Capabilities for our Homeland (SAFE TECH) Act unanimously passed the House of Representatives with bi-partisan support, just 41 days after its initial introduction.  This important legislation stems from the Congressman’s recent Congressional Delegation trip during which he had the opportunity to review screening procedures at major EU hubs like Amsterdam and Frankfurt for inbound travel to the United States.  Technical standards for safety and operating procedures at international airports are set by international agreements.  The standards set are generally broad; leaving vulnerabilities through inconsistencies with international partners.  Today’s bill will address this concern, and improve the safety of air travel for all passengers.  Specifically, this legislation will provide an avenue for 3rd party testing of innovative technology screening capabilities to enhance airport security.  It will also assess the feasibility of linking compatible security technology utilized by the United States and international allies in order to augment screening check points. This coordinated collaboration is an essential element of strengthening global security.  To view the Congressman speaking on the Floor about this bill, click here.

I have always contended that if we are not safe, then nothing else matters.  During my recent fact finding mission, I was startled by the lack of consistency in international standards and gaps in technology that support precautionary measures to ensure passenger safety. I was convinced that this issue needed to be immediately rectified, and worked hard to ensure my bill to fix the problem advanced through the legislative process as quickly as possible.  I am elated that my colleagues joined me in making it one of the first legislative priorities of the new year. Our action today will make air travel safer for everyone entering the United States,” said Congressman Bilirakis.