Asa Hutchinson Speaks out on Transportation Security

An Interview with DHS Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson from the Airport, Port and Terminal Security (APTS) conference in the UK

Hutchinson: Homeland Security has a couple of different prospects for an international travel program. We are coordinating and defining how this program would work. We are going to have to look at an area we can pilot it, and a partner, as you mentioned I suggested today that the UK would be a great partner in that. We have a huge passenger load from the UK to the US, we have frequent travelers and if we can simplify identifying who those trusted travelers are and just as significantly it helps us to invest our security resources on those that we have not sorted out as being of minimal risk. So as a security benefit to such a program as well as the convenience of the traveler, the exact parameters of the program and how it will work clearly has not been defined but we are anxious to have a partner in that and I believe it is the right direction to go.

Q: Did you get a positive response from the UK government and if so, do you have a timeframe to work by?

Hutchinson: We are continuing our discussions tomorrow (12 November) and we will wait and see. I would not want to set any specific timeframe. I will tell you that we are actively piloting domestic registered travel programs and we want to move expeditiously in that direction and so naturally we ought to look at an international type of registered travel program so we hope sometime next year to have a pilot that would be in operation.