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Homeland Security Stands Up Transatlantic Aviation Roundtable

The Homeland Security Department is standing up a new committee—the Transatlantic Aviation Industry Roundtable—to engage all relevant flight stakeholders and address critical security issues that threaten the open skies, according to a document published in the Federal Register Wednesday.

“An effective committee must be able to have ongoing, immediate, and multi-directional communication and coordination under highly exigent circumstances,” agency officials wrote in the document. “In furtherance of DHS' mission to protect the homeland, the public interest requires the establishment of the TAIR.”

In consultation with the Secretary of State for the Home Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Homeland Security is establishing the committee to serve as a forum for the agency and its relevant English counterparts to boost their coordination. Members of the group, who will be appointed by the agency’s secretary and serve applicable terms, will collaborate on a wide variety of issues targeting the transatlantic flight landscape, including global security improvements, information sharing, insider threats, cybersecurity and enhancements to security technologies, among others.

Members may provide policy advice and recommendations, but they will have no authority to establish federal policy on their own. And because much of the content the committee will discuss will likely involve highly sensitive and potentially classified information, the secretary will exempt TAIR from the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which generally requires committees to meet in open sessions and publish publicly available documents.

“The release of this information would enable criminals and enemies to use that information to circumvent the law and could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of individuals,” the agency said.

The committee will operate indefinitely until the secretary or agency decides to terminate it.