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U.S. Embassy expresses support for Airport Security Task Force

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Embassy expresses its strong support for the Ministry of Transport and Aviation Airport Security Task Force.

The United States and The Bahamas have a common interest in promoting airport security, and we are confident that the Task Force currently assessing airport security will lead to solutions to existing vulnerabilities.

United States’ concerns regarding security at Lynden Pindling International Airport have been highlighted by recent arrests of airport employees and recent Transport Security Administration (TSA) assessments. TSA conducts yearly assessments based upon ICAO standards.

These assessments, while noting that standards were generally acceptable under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and that some previous violations were remedied, also noted that many ICAO standards were not met and required action to remedy shortcomings.

The specific conclusions, as the Ministry rightly noted, remain confidential to protect airport vulnerabilities from being exploited.

TSA representatives did, however, conduct a review in January 2007 which uncovered several hundred security breaches for which required follow-up investigation or disciplinary action had not taken place.

The Embassy has shared this information with the Ministry of Transport and Aviation in correspondence prepared earlier this year. Previous TSA security reviews have also highlighted breaches of ICAO standards.

The Ministry is correct in noting that the breaches were not identified by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), but rather were reported by TSA. These TSA assessments are based primarily on standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The United States reaffirms its strong desire to work closely with the Ministry of Transport and Aviation to strengthen airport security throughout The Bahamas and ensure the safety and security of the millions of Bahamians and Americans who pass though the international airports of The Bahamas every year.

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