Travel Leaders Hail Neffenger's TSA Chief Confirmation
PHOTO: New TSA chief Peter Neffenger. (via Military.com)
Travel leaders are hailing the choice of Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Monday to serve as the next Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
“Vice Admiral Neffenger shares our commitment to the multi-layered approach to aviation security that has helped make air travel the safest form of intercity transportation in the United States,” said Airlines For America President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “A4A congratulates Vice Admiral Neffenger on his confirmation, and we remain committed to working collaboratively with TSA under his leadership to advocate for risk-based solutions that further bolster security, while making travel more convenient for the customers we serve.”
Neffenger takes over at a difficult time. The TSA is under scrutiny for a series of critical security mishaps, including a gun-smuggling ring between John F. Kennedy International and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airports.
More recently, the agency failed to identify 73 employees who had previous or current ties to terrorism.
And most disturbing, the TSA failed a whopping 95 percent of undercover tests in which federal agents, posing as passengers, were able to slip explosive devices past security.
"The travel community is relieved and encouraged that TSA will now have long-term leadership in place, especially someone as confidence-inspiring as Mr. Neffenger,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “His qualifications for the position are virtually without peer, and during his confirmation hearings he distinguished himself with his adroit answers to many tough questions about this difficult period for the agency.
"Travel is crucial to both America's economy and way of life, but this country's ability to travel begins and ends with security. No one was ever under the illusion that TSA's job was going to be easy, but under Mr. Neffenger's leadership I expect that the agency will emerge from its recent challenges every bit as capable and effective as we need it to be."
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