13-Feb-2018 2:42 PM

US Government allocates USD7.7bn in funding for US TSA in FY2019 budget proposal

US Government proposed (12-Feb-2018) USD7.7 billion in funding for the US TSA in its FY2019 budget proposal. Within this total funding, the administration proposes the following:

  • Staff: Increase number of full time equivalent (FTE) security officers to 43,877, the highest level in the agency's history. US TSA will increase its TSA officer workforce by 382 FTE to annualise the FY2018 passenger growth and 335 FTE for the expected FY2019 passenger growth;
  • Technology: Include a USD70.6 million increase over FY2018 to begin the purchase and deployment of computed tomography (CT) technology to airports. The funding provides for the purchase of 145 CT units for deployment at 14 of the nation's highest risk airports and an increase of USD2.4 million for an additional 19 FTE transportation security specialists explosives to help respond to increased alarm rates expected with the new technology;
  • Innovation Task Force: Provide USD15.6 million for the TSA's Innovation Task Force to support equipment testing and demonstration, algorithm testing and demonstration, hardware and software testing, and programme management;
  • Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR): Eliminate the VIPR Team programme, saving USD12.6 million for the agency. The administration states that state and local law enforcement agencies will continue the primary activities where VIPR teams were previously deployed;
  • Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS): Reduce the FAMS payroll by 3% (USD26.1 million) which will be absorbed through managed attrition and a hiring freeze;
  • Airport Infrastructure Protection Programme: Eliminate TSA's Airport Infrastructure Protection Programme, which provided funds for airports to enter into Other Transactional Agreements (OTAs) for Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTVs);
  • Law Enforcement Officer Reimbursement Programme: The FY2019 budget continues the reductions taken in the FY2018 President's budget request, including the elimination of the law enforcement officer reimbursement programme. In addition, for FY2019, the Administration proposes to eliminate the remaining personnel and support cost in the programme management office. According to the Administration's budget justification documents, the elimination of this programme does not exempt airports from providing law enforcement services as agreed to in the Airport Security Programme. It further states that the elimination will have no impact on performance as airports will continue to provide the required law enforcement services;
  • Exit lane staffing: FY2019 budget continues the reductions proposed in the FY2018 President's budget to cease TSA staffing of airport exit lanes. Given the statutory language contained in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2013 that requires TSA to be responsible for monitoring passenger exit points from sterile areas of airports which TSA was monitoring as of 01-Dec-2013;
  • Passenger security fees: To move toward a higher share of cost recovery for aviation security, the budget proposes to increase the Passenger Security Fee by USD1 in FY2019 from USD5.60 to USD6.60 per one way trip and an additional USD1.65 starting in FY2020, from USD6.60 to USD8.25 per one way trip. [more - original PR]

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