of Transportation Norman Mineta
Department of Transportation
Washington, D. C.
September 16, 2001
2:00 P.M. EDT
Today I am announcing the creation of two rapid-responses teams, headed by 6
national leaders in aviation and security protection, to report by October 1st
their specific recommendations for improving security within the national aviation
One team will focus on increasing security at our nations airports, the
other will focus on aircraft integrity and security, with a specific focus on
These teams will augment our existing experts at the Federal Aviation Administration
and Department of Transportation. By the way, let me take this moment to thank
the FAA, under the leadership of Jane Garvey, for the heroic work they have
done in response to this national crisis.
When I ordered the national airspace cleared last Tuesday morning, FAA air
traffic controllers brought down every flight, nationwide, safely and in a
Everyone -- from the screeners at the airport, to the pilots and flight crews,
the additional law enforcement personnel -- everyone is working at a high level
of dedication and teamwork. So, thank you for that.
Now, our efforts must now turn towards the development of long-term, sustainable
security improvements within our airports and on aircrafts themselves to ensure
American passengers are provided with the highest possible levels of safety.
I understand the complexity of these issues, and I know there have been numerous
studies undertaken. But what I expect now are the right answers.
The Department of Transportation is prepared to act immediately, and Im
confident that each of these distinguished task force members will help us
do just that.
The task force members will be:
1. Robert W. Baker, vice chairman of American Airlines;
2. Charles M. (Chip) Barclay, president of the American Association of Airport
3. Robert A. Davis, former vice president of engineering and technology for
The Boeing Company;
4. Herb Kelleher, chairman of the board of directors of Southwest Airlines;
5. Raymond Kelly, former commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service and veteran
law enforcement officer; and
6. Capt. Duane Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).
Before I take a question or two, let me first give you a sense of what weve
been doing here at the Department. On Sept. 13, I announced the gradual restoration
of mobility within the national airspace system, having taken immediate steps
to develop heightened security measures to ensure the safety of airline passengers.
All of the countrys major airports have resumed normal air service
operations, with the exception of Reagan National Airport, which remains temporarily
Immediately following the terrorist acts, DOT, under the Ports and Waterways
Safety Act, took all necessary actions to control the movement of all vessels
in the navigable waters of the United States. All ports and waterways have
remained open and secure since Sept. 12.
Ive directed the U.S. Coast Guard to activate its Port Security Units
in New York, Los Angeles, Long Beach, California and Puget Sound, Washington.
The Coast Guard has mobilized their reserve members, bringing 600 additional
Coast Guard members to the Atlantic areas, and an additional 225 Coast Guard
members to the Pacific.
In addition, the Coast Guard continues to assist disaster relief efforts
in New York, having created a virtual highway on New York harbor to support
It is also transporting disaster rescuers using a fleet of nine Coast Guard
Cutters, seven Coast Guard small boats, and four Coast Guard helicopters.
To ensure pipeline safety, DOT issued a Pipeline Security Information Circular
on Sept. 11, recommending that all pipeline companies take steps to implement
emergency security measures and develop a long-term plan to strengthen security
In conclusion, let me quote President Bush: The world has changed.
I would add, so has the nature of our national transportation system.
Our transportation system has become a target. Passenger vehicles have been
transformed into lethal weapons in a profane and cowardly campaign of violence.
We are beginning a new era of transportation. Our nations economy;
a cherished American principle --- our freedom of movement -- is being challenged.
This past week requires us to develop new systems that move people and commerce
safely and efficiently. That is the mission before us. I promise the American
people the President and I -- working with other federal officials as well
as state and local governments --- will accomplish that mission.