SPP to Develop National Aviation Security Program

Posted: November 13, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Elena Barbre

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded $9 million to a George Mason University-George Washington University consortium to develop an aviation security training program over the next three years. The goal of the program is to improve the safety and security oversight of foreign air carriers that conduct operations in the United States.

Researchers from the two universities will develop a certificate program to help foreign aviation authorities meet air safety and security standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization–standards required of every foreign carrier that operates in the United States. The School of Public Policy has received $300,000 in the first year of the project to codevelop the integrated multiday course.

“Our goal is to provide training for aviation systems personnel in developing countries, including our foreign counterparts of the FAA and related national agencies that manage airspace,” says Roger Stough, principal investigator for George Mason’s part of the project. “We have tight standards in the United States, but developing countries are often less prepared to deal with security issues, especially where U.S. carriers fly.”

Stough, along with coprincipal investigator Ken Button and SPP faculty members Brien Benson and Jack Fearnsides, will create a course module on aviation security policy and develop an aviation security policy research program to support the project. The course will be offered next spring to high-level government officials both domestically and in developing countries in Latin America and Central Europe, says Stough. The project was already in development before Sept. 11, but was approved within two weeks of the attacks.

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