Trip Report: Committee Delegation Examines Last Point of Departure Airports and Aviation Security in Europe and the Middle East
Washington, D.C. – House Homeland Security Committee’s Transportation and Protective Security Subcommittee Chairman John Katko (R-NY) led a bipartisan delegation of House lawmakers to Europe and the Middle East last week. Members examined airport security at last point of departure airports and discussed strategic and operational coordination with our foreign partners on counter-terrorism measures, including our partnerships to defeat ISIS and the ongoing refugee crisis, foreign fighter travel, and other national security issues.
Chairman McCaul: “Rep. John Katko’s continued leadership in aviation security, last point of departure airports, and on stopping terrorist entry into America has been critical. His most recent work examining security at international airports in the Middle East and Europe will better protect Americans here at home and build upon the Committee’s continuous work to improve airport security.”
Rep. John Katko: “The timing of this visit to Europe and the Middle East was critical, as terrorists remain intent on taking down aircraft. We must do all that we can to stay ahead of the evolving threat to the global aviation sector. Together with our foreign partners, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to ensure ISIS is not able to infiltrate and exploit refugee resettlement programs. After standing near the doorsteps of terror in the Middle East and speaking with the leaders in each of these countries, I came away knowing in order to keep Americans safer, we must advance collaborative counterterrorism efforts with our allies and deepen our bilateral relationships to raise the standard of global aviation security.”
Members of the Delegation included:
Transportation and Protective Security Subcommittee Chairman John Katko (R-NY)
Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS), Homeland Security Committee
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX), Homeland Security Committee
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Homeland Security Committee
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The delegation discussed the important relationships between the U.S. and European Union member states on a wide range of counterterrorism and security issues.
The delegation met with senior Dutch and European Union government officials, including the Executive Director of Europol, Rob Wainwright.
Members toured Schiphol Airport, the third busiest hub in Europe for passenger and cargo volume, and examined the airport’s use of cutting edge technology for detecting threats to aviation security.
The delegation examined the strategic and operational coordination between Jordan and the United States on various fronts, including our partnership to defeat ISIS, the ongoing refugee crisis, as well as Jordan’s stability and strong ties to the U.S.
The group met with His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Al-Hussein at Husseiniya Palace. He thanked the delegation for their commitment to Jordan & praised the U.S. for its enduring support.
At Za’atri Refugee Camp, members toured facilities that house 83,000 refugees who fled from Syria. They held small group discussions with the refugees and spoke with children in the camp.
Members examined current threats to aviation security and the measures our German partners have in place to screen passengers and aviation workers. The group also discussed the German refugee issue as well as Brexit’s impact on air travel within the European community.
The delegation toured Frankfurt International Airport, which has more direct flights to the United States than any other airport in the world, and discussed security measures, cooperative efforts, and information-sharing procedures.
At the Lufthansa Aviation Center, the group met with airline officials to discuss their security apparatus and risks to international civil aviation. The airline flies 5.8 million passengers a year to the United States.