David Ishihara, the new federal security chief for Bradley International Airport, pledges to do more than supervise passenger screening. He wants to bring a "holistic understanding" of the complexities of airport security.
That means being attuned to the needs of cargo shippers and private pilots using the state-owned airport, he said, as well as working with the airlines. It means working hand-in-hand with the state police.
"I want to form true partnerships with these people," Ishihara said, "We have different interests, but a common goal: Nobody wants another 9/11."
He promised to resist any efforts to cut the Transportation Security Administration's staff of about 250 serving Bradley. Security at Tweed-New Haven Airport, with about a dozen screeners, also falls under his purview.
Currently the deputy federal security director at Logan International Airport in Boston, Ishihara has been appointed to replace Dana Cosgrove, who retired last month as federal security director at Bradley. He is to take office later this month.
Cosgrove had been appointed when the agency was formed three years ago, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Ishihara said Friday that his multiple perspectives come from being a licensed commercial pilot, a former flight instructor, former assistant manager of a municipal airport, a security official with the Federal Aviation Administration and, briefly, a self-employed consultant.
He had left the FAA in 2001 to form a consulting group with a colleague, but shortly after terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, FAA officials invited him to return. He soon wound up working for the newly formed TSA, which took over security at Bradley in July 2002.
Cosgrove called Ishihara "an excellent choice for the position," which requires a broad range of management skills.
"He has a passion for the workforce, which was near and dear to my heart," Cosgrove said.
He said Ishihara and other TSA chiefs will face pressure from Congress and others to cut the screener force to save money. In protecting more than 400 U.S. airports, the agency quickly hired a workforce of about 50,000. It since has dropped to about 45,000.
In his home state of Maine, Ishihara was assistant manager of the Portland International Jetport before joining the FAA. He has a bachelor's degree from the Florida Institute of Technology.