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--> 2 Stakeholder Needs and Requirements There are many groups interested in ensuring aviation security, including manufacturers of explosives-detection equipment, the FAA, airports, air carriers, the public, and Congress. Those most directly involved in effecting aviation security, however, are the equipment manufacturers, the FAA, and the users, usually the air carriers. It is these select stakeholders together who have both the capability and the responsibility to ensure aviation security and, therefore, to whom the panel directs the recommendations contained in this report. Regardless of the balance of financial responsibility between airports, air carriers, and the government for aviation security, all are stakeholders in that all have certain expectations of and a need for operating and managing explosives-detection equipment over its life cycle. The stakeholders' actions over the life cycle of the explosives-detection equipment are shaped by the needs of the stakeholders in aviation security and are affected by new detection technologies, changing threats, and economic uncertainties. Therefore, the evolution of explosives-detection equipment is dependent on actions taken by or for the stakeholders as a result of external developments. The expertise and capabilities of the individual stakeholders dictate the delegation of responsibility for such actions. In its role of ensuring aviation security, the FAA must define the threat to aviation security and performance requirements for explosives-detection equipment while ensuring that the manufacturers of these systems continue to produce high-quality equipment. Furthermore, the FAA is responsible for ensuring that explosives-detection equipment, which likely will be maintained by the users, operates properly. Involving all the stakeholders in developing the FAA's management plan would allow each stakeholder to incorporate its different needs into the plan, while utilizing individual capabilities to achieve the common goal of improving aviation security. The stakeholders need a management plan that encompasses manufacturing, certification, deployment, maintenance, and operational performance of explosives-detection equipment. That is, not only must the management plan ensure that as-manufactured explosives-detection equipment meets the same FAA requirements that the original, certified equipment met, but also that each unit must continue to meet the FAA's performance requirements over the time they are operating in airports. Therefore, the process outlined in this report can be thought of as encompassing certification and maintenance of certification over the life cycle of an explosives-detection system (EDS). For noncertified explosives-detection equipment, as is being purchased by the FAA for deployment pursuant to the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-264), the role of the FAA is not as clear. Although the FAA will establish some baseline performance1 for each type of equipment it deploys in airports, it does not have a regulatory role specifying a predetermined level of performance of noncertified equipment, as it does for EDS. However, as the customer who purchases explosives-detection equipment and deploys it in airports, the FAA should hold deployed, noncertified explosives-detection equipment to its baseline detection performance. Table 2-1 outlines several key differences in the role of the FAA for EDSs and for noncertified explosives-detection equipment.2 In this chapter, the panel outlines the needs of the stakeholders and how the needs of each stakeholder align or conflict with the needs of other stakeholders with respect to the life-cycle management plan for explosives-detection equipment. Discussion focuses on the FAA's interaction with the other stakeholders regarding certified EDSs and includes the FAA's role in the purchase, deployment, and regulation of noncertified equipment as appropriate. 1 Baseline performance is discussed in more depth in Chapter 4. 2 Table 2-1 indicates the current role of the FAA and does not reflect the panel's recommendations for the future. The panel's recommendations in Chapter 5 include that baseline performance of noncertified explosives-detection equipment be established and maintained.
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--> TABLE 2-1 Current Role of the FAA for EDSs and for Noncertified Explosives-Detection Equipment FAA Action EDS Noncertified Explosives-Detection Equipment Mandate deployment by air carriers yes no Establish minimum performance requirements yes no Purchase and deploy in airportsa yes yes a Note that, even in the absence of a mandate, air carriers and other users can purchase and deploy certified and noncertified explosives-detection equipment in airports. FAA's Needs For all stakeholders, the most important aspect of the FAA's management plan is that it ensures that explosives-detection equipment, as manufactured and used in airports, will meet FAA performance specifications. For the FAA, an additional concern is that the management plan and any associated quality standard, configuration-management tool, or performance-verification protocol associated with it must also be credible. That is, all stakeholders, including the general public, must be confident that the FAA's management plan is effective in ensuring that explosives-detection equipment is operating properly. A management plan that does not have the confidence of the stakeholders is unlikely to be deployed effectively and may not be successful in maintaining the baseline performance of explosives-detection equipment. The management plan must also be flexible enough to handle changes in FAA certification standards. As the field of explosives-detection technology matures, and as threat types change, the FAA may need to modify their certification criteria to reflect changes in types (i.e., composition), amounts, or configurations of explosives that require detection. The FAA certification criteria may also need to be modified to become more representative of the performance required in airports. The implications of these changes for equipment being manufactured and for explosives-detection equipment already in the field are not clear. For clarity, the FAA should specify what impact future changes in their certification criteria will have on the manufacture and operation of equipment certified under current certification criteria. Manufacturers' Needs For successful implementation of explosives-detection equipment into the aviation system, the FAA's management plan must incorporate the manufacturers' specific needs. An ideal management plan would ensure both consistent manufacturing quality, resulting in an EDS that detects explosives as required, and effective incorporation of improvements in design and manufacturing, resulting in lower costs and better performance. On the assumption that the FAA's management plan will require manufacturers to have a quality system in place, the manufacturers would need a quality system that is easy to implement and that is cost effective for their operations. Manufacturers and potential buyers and users of explosives-detection equipment (both international and domestic) recognize the credibility associated with FAA certification. Explosives-detection equipment manufacturers, therefore, would benefit if the quality system and standard associated with FAA certification were also internationally recognized as credible. Airport And Air Carrier Operators' Needs Traditionally, air carriers have been held financially responsible for aviation security.3 Air carriers are required to provide metal-detector portals, x-ray radiographic screening equipment for checked and carry-on baggage, and security personnel at passenger security checkpoints. The airports are responsible for providing a place for security checkpoints and for maintaining general airport security. As with the needs of the manufacturers, successful implementation of explosives-detection equipment into the aviation system requires that the FAA's management plan incorporate the specific needs of the users. From the users' perspective, an ideal management plan would ensure consistent detection performance as well as seamless integration of the task of explosives detection into the users' baggage-handling systems at minimal cost. From the standpoint of the air carriers, therefore, the FAA's management plan should ensure that explosives-detection equipment is consistently effective and reliable. At the same time, the FAA should ensure that the manufacturers provide guidelines and procedures for maintenance, repair, and upgrade such that deployed equipment maintains suitable detection performance levels in the field. The FAA and the end users should review these guidelines and procedures with the manufacturers until concurrence is attained between the FAA, the manufacturers, and the end users. With clear guidelines and procedures, the users could plan their maintenance schedules and expenditures as they do now for standard baggage-handling equipment. Alignment and Conflicts Between Stakeholders' Needs The FAA's needs reflect those of the other stakeholders in that they desire a management plan that perpetuates air travel that is safe and secure, which is the ultimate goal of 3 Note that the Federal Reauthorization Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-264) directs the Administrator of the FAA to deploy (including purchase) commercially available explosives-detection equipment. This is a significant change from previous policy.
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--> the FAA-air carrier-manufacturer partnership. However, the FAA's need to regulate the equipment and deployment scenarios may on occasion conflict with the business goals of the air carriers and manufacturers. The FAA, along with the equipment manufacturers, desires a management plan that fosters the development of a market for explosives-detection equipment that provides for continual improvement in cost and performance. However, regulation may conflict with the need to continually make changes and improvements to equipment. The FAA's ultimate goal of widespread deployment of explosives-detection equipment may conflict with the air carriers need for uninterrupted flow in their baggage-handling operations and their desire to keep operational costs at a minimum. Conflicts are inevitable between regulators and those they regulate. With an appropriate management plan, however, the FAA may be able to identify these conflicts early and resolve them with input from all stakeholders. It will also facilitate changes believed to be desirable by the FAA. Stakeholders' Needs in A Crisis Situation There are situations in which the operation of airport security equipment can be expected to be closely examined, which include specific threats against a particular flight (e.g., a bomb threat) a period of general high threat level (e.g., the FAA concludes that the probability of a terrorist incident is much higher than normal and consequently additional safeguards are activated to protect the public) an aircraft incident such as an in-flight explosion that could be attributed to a terrorist bomb In the first two cases, it is reasonable to assume that the security-screening equipment will be relied on to provide a significant portion of the defense against the threat. In the last case, there will surely be an inquiry to determine if the explosives-detection equipment that serviced the flight were operating properly, and it may lead to a period of high threat levels until the cause of the incident is understood. In all three cases it may be beneficial to archive data collected by automated EDSs for a limited period of time (e.g., until the flights for which data are collected land safely) before it is permanently destroyed. These crisis situations, in which the need to protect the traveling public will be paramount, demand that the capabilities of explosives-detection equipment be well understood and verifiable. This might be achieved through the adoption of a management plan for the equipment that includes the following aspects: tracks all changes made to the equipment and the effect they had on its performance establishes procedures that verify the performance of the equipment A management plan that takes advantage of individual stakeholder needs and capabilities, and specifies the proper delineation of the role of each stakeholder, is a step toward an effective deployment of both certified and noncertified explosives-detection equipment.
Representative terms from entire chapter: