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Mineta announces rapid response teams on airport, aircraft securityMineta announces rapid response teams on airport, aircraft security

U.S. Secretary of Transportation (DOT) Norman Y. Mineta today announced the creation of two Rapid Response teams to deliver detailed recommendations for improving security within the national aviation system. Augmenting the work of senior DOT and FAA experts, six national leaders in aviation and security protection will participate in this comprehensive review and will deliver to Secretary Mineta its recommendations no later than October 1, 2001.

One Rapid Response Team will focus on increasing security at the nation's airports, the other on aircraft security, focusing on cockpit access. The two Rapid Response teams, which will directly report to Secretary Mineta, will be coordinated by Deputy Transportation Secretary Michael P. Jackson.

"Last week, we successfully restored operations within our national air system," said Secretary Mineta. "Our efforts must now turn to developing long-term, sustainable security improvements within our airports and the aircrafts themselves as we continue to provide all Americans the highest possible levels of safety."

"These are complex issues, but we have a strong base on which to build. We can and will build on existing analysis as the Department of Transportation prepares to act on specific recommendations. I'm confident that each of these distinguished Rapid Response Team members will help us do just that."

Participating in the Rapid Response Team on airport security will be: Herb Kelleher, chairman of the board of directors of Southwest Airlines; Raymond Kelly, former commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service and veteran law enforcement officer; and Charles M. (Chip) Barclay, president of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).

Participating in the Rapid Response Team on aircraft security will be: Robert W. Baker, vice chairman of American Airlines; Robert A. Davis, former vice president of engineering and technology for The Boeing Company; and Capt. Duane Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

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