Skinner Plans Direct Control of Aviation Security
Transportation Secretary Samuel K. Skinner said he likely will shift direct control of aviation security and intelligence matters from the Federal Aviation Administration to his office, a major recommendation of the commission that investigated the terrorist bombing of Pan American Flight 103 in December, 1988.
Skinner, in an interview, also said he probably will take the commission’s recommendation a step further by moving Coast Guard and maritime intelligence and security directly into the Transportation Department.
Skinner said a comprehensive plan for enhancing airline security will be announced next month, some of it building on the Pan Am commission’s recommendations. He said he and FAA Administrator James B. Busey plan to meet in early June to approve a final plan, now being developed by task forces within the FAA and the Transportation Department.
The report by the President’s Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism, issued May 15, was highly critical of the FAA, Pan Am and others involved in aviation security before and after the Dec. 21, 1988, bombing of the Pan Am Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Among the major recommendations that would affect Skinner directly was one urging creation of an assistant secretary of transportation for security and intelligence to oversee functions now handled within the FAA.
The report said that the CIA should delegate a senior officer to work within the new Transportation Department office.