US is not happy with Venezuelan air security


Everyweek,88planestakeoffVenezuelaforUSairterminalsandUSofficialswouldliketohaveaccesstothem(FilePhoto)TheUSgovernmentcouldtakeactionagainstVenezuelanairlinesJOSEPHPOLISZUK
ELUNIVERSAL

TheUSTransportationSecurityAdministration(TSA)lamentedthattheVenezuelangovernmentdoesnotletthemconducttheircustomaryinspectioninairportsandintheaircraftflyingtotheUnitedStates.

ChristopherWhite,spokesmanoftheTSAStrategicCommunicationsandPublicAffairsOffice,notedthat,unlikemostSouthAmericancountriesandtherestoftheworld,"USinspectorshavefailedtoascertainproperlywhethertheVenezuelanaeronauticsystemisvulnerableintermsofterrorismandairportsecurity."

Theofficial,contactedviatelephone,didnotspecifywhenthissituationstarted,butsaidithaslingeredforawhile."Ithasprevailedforsomeyears.Assessmentsareanimportantpartofensuringthesecurityofthepassengers.ItisimportantthatweensureforthesecurityofallpassengersthataircraftoperatingtotheUSmeetcertainstandards."
Whitethinksthatspeakingofanyconsequenceswouldbespeculating.Inanycase,heclarified,"intheeventofanyaccident,actionwouldbetakenagainsttheairlinesoperatingfromVenezuelatotheUnitedStates."

Eighty-eightweeklyflights
TheTransportationandSecurityAdministrationwasestablishedbytheUSGovernmentintheaftermathofSeptember11th.Sincethen,TSAcoordinates,togetherwiththeauthoritiesofforeigncountries,operationsthatempowerUSofficialstocheckrestrictedareasinairports,inadditiontotrackingpassengers,luggageandplaneswithdestinationtoUSterminals.

Whitedidnotspecifythenumberofcountriesthatcooperatewiththeseactions.However,heinsistedonsayingthatanyaircraftboundfortheUnitedStatesshouldbeoverseenandcheckedbyTSA,tomakethenecessaryassessmentintermsofsafetyandsecurityofbothpassengersandtheflight.

Everyweek,88planestakeoffVenezuelaforUSairterminalsandUSofficialswouldliketohaveaccesstothem.TSAhasfailedtoreachanagreementwithVenezuelanairauthorities.However,spokespersonsexpecttomakeitsoon.

"WehavebeenworkingwiththeVenezuelangovernmenttocarryouttheseassessmentswhicharerequiredbytheUSlawfortheaircrafttooperateintheUnitedStates.TheprimaryissuethatwecurrentlyfaceisbeingallowedtoconductairportsecurityassessmentinVenezuela.Asaresult,wecannotdeterminewhetherthesystemisincompliancewithourregulations."

NorepresentativeoftheVenezuelanNationalInstituteofCivilAeronauticsmadeonWednesdayanyrelatedcomment.Insidetheorganizationtheyrecalled,anyway,thattheInternationalCivilAviationOrganization(ICAO)isinchargeofworldcivilaviationandtodatenoneofitsofficialshasdoubtedabouttheVenezuelanmethods.
jpoliszuk@eluniversal.com


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