US Senate Approves Boost in Security for Travellers


The US Senate has overwhelmingly approved legislation that would boost domestic travel security in the wake of the Brussels attacks and approves FAA spending until September 2017.

Reuters reported that the 95-3 vote sends the measure to the House of Representatives, where they have been unable to make headway on their own FAA bill because of differences over a provision to privatise the US air traffic control system.

The bipartisan Senate measure, which sidesteps the privatisation issue, contains a series of travel security provisions that Senate Republicans have promoted as the most comprehensive increase in airport security in nearly a decade.

The measures include doubling the number of security teams with bomb-sniffing dogs at domestic airports, as well as stronger vetting of airport employees and increased security at check-in and baggage claim areas.

The bill also authorises spending for FAA operations, airport improvements, aviation research and development, and requires airlines to compensate passengers for lost bags and refund charges for undelivered services.

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune said the legislation would “make travel safe and secure and more passenger-friendly.”
The Senate measure also contains a lengthy section on unmanned aircraft that would require new policy standards for commercial drones involving safety, privacy, design and identification and the use of data gathered by the aircraft.