TSA Security Directive SD-1544-09-06 : The Fallout From NW253

27/12/2009 – TSA Security Directive SD-1544-09-06 : The Fallout From NW253

Following the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on Delta Air Lines Flight 253, operated by Northwest Airlines, from Amsterdam to Detroit, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has created a series of security measures in reaction to the incident.

Earlier today I wrote about Flight NW253 here, 27/12/2009 – Northwest Airlines Flight 253 : Myths & Facts.

The following is the complete text of the US DHS security directive as implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

I post this text with no commentary or opinion; it is posted in its entirety as fact for you to better understand what is currently occurring in the realm of international aviation security.

Happy Flying & remember to use the lavatory 61 minutes prior to arrival in the US from overseas

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Transportation Security Administration

Aviation Security Directive

Subject: Security Directive
Number: SD 1544-09-06
Date: December 25, 2009

EXPIRATION: 0200Z on December 30, 2009

This Security Directive (SD) must be implemented immediately. The measures contained in this SD are in addition to all other SDs currently in effect for your operations.

INFORMATION: On December 25, 2009, a terrorist attack was attempted against a flight traveling to the United States. TSA has identified security measures to be implemented by airports, aircraft operators, and foreign air carriers to mitigate potential threats to flights.

APPLICABILITY: THIS SD APPLIES TO AIRCRAFT OPERATORS THAT CARRY OUT A SECURITY PROGRAM REGULATED UNDER 49 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (CFR)1544.101(a).

ACTIONS REQUIRED: If you conduct scheduled and/or public charter flight operations under a Full Program under 49 CFR 1544.101(a) departing from any foreign location to the United States (including its territories and possessions), you must immediately implement all measures in this SD for each such flight.

1. BOARDING GATE

1. The aircraft operator or authorized air carrier representative must ensure all passengers are screened at the boarding gate during the boarding process using the following procedures. These procedures are in addition to the screening of all passengers at the screening checkpoint.

1. Perform thorough pat-down of all passengers at boarding gate prior to boarding, concentrating on upper legs and torso.
2. Physically inspect 100 percent of all passenger accessible property at the boarding gate prior to boarding, with focus on syringes being transported along with powders and/or liquids.
3. Ensure the liquids, aerosols, and gels restrictions are strictly adhered to in accordance with SD 1544-06-02E.

2. During the boarding process, the air carrier may exempt passengers who are Heads of State or Heads of Government from the measures outlined in Section I.A. of this SD, including the following who are traveling with the Head of State or Head of Government:

1. Spouse and children, or
2. One other individual (chosen by the Head of State or Head of Government)

3. For the purposes of Section I.B., the following definitions apply:

1. Head of State: An individual serving as the chief public representative of a monarchic or republican nation-state, federation, commonwealth, or any other political state (for example, King, Queen, and President).

2. Head of Government: The chief officer of the executive branch of a government presiding over a cabinet (for example, Prime Minister, Premier, President, and Monarch).

2. IN FLIGHT

1. During flight, the aircraft operator must ensure that the following procedures are followed:

1. Passengers must remain in seats beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.
2. Passenger access to carry-on baggage is prohibited beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.
3. Disable aircraft-integrated passenger communications systems and services (phone, internet access services, live television programming, global positioning systems) prior to boarding and during all phases of flight.
4. While over U.S. airspace, flight crew may not make any announcement to passengers concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks.
5. Passengers may not have any blankets, pillows, or personal belongings on the lap beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.

AIRCRAFT OPERATOR ACKNOWLEDGMENT: The aircraft operator must immediately provide written confirmation to its assigned PSI indicating receipt of this SD.

AIRCRAFT OPERATOR dissemination required: The aircraft operator must immediately pass the information and directives set forth in this SD to all stations affected, and provide written confirmation to its PSI, indicating that all stations affected have acknowledged receipt of the information and directives set forth in this SD. The aircraft operator must disseminate this information to its senior management personnel, ground security coordinators, and supervisory security personnel at all affected locations. All aircraft operator personnel implementing this SD must be briefed by the aircraft operator on its content and the restrictions governing dissemination. No other dissemination may be made without prior approval of the Assistant Secretary for the Transportation Security Administration. Unauthorized dissemination of this document or information contained herein is prohibited by 49 CFR Part 1520 (see 69 Fed. Reg. 28066 (May 18, 2004).

APPROVAL OF ALTERNATIVE MEASURES: With respect to the provisions of this SD, as stated in 49 CFR 1544.305(d), the aircraft operator may submit in writing to its PSI proposed alternative measures and the basis for submitting the alternative measures for approval by the Assistant Administrator for Transportation Sector Network Management. The aircraft operator must immediately notify its PSI whenever any procedure in this SD cannot be carried out by a government authority charged with performing security procedures.

FOR TSA ACTION ONLY: The TSA must issue this SD immediately to the corporate security element of all affected U.S. aircraft operators.

FOR STATE DEPARTMENT: Retransmittal to appropriate foreign posts is authorized. Post must refer to STATE 162917, 201826Z Sep 01, Subject: FAA Security Directives and Information Circulars: Definitions and Handling, for specific guidance and dissemination.

Gale Rossides
Acting Administrator

Pingbacks

  1. […] I don’t think I will be flying again unless I absolutely have to. There’s more here. It’s a very difficult thing for government bureaucrats to accept, but you can’t defend against this level of threat. If someone wants to bring down a plane, over a long enough period of time, they are going to succeed, and there’s little in the way of security measures that will work that don’t involve profiling, interviews, and various other highly intrusive security measures that the Israelis use. […]

Comments

  1. Anyone care to comment on what assumptions are behind these directives? For example, what is so critical about the one hour prior to arrival? Would not a telephone with a GPS built in let a terrorist know exactly where is at any given time? They are clearly trying to deter any information getting from outside the plane to inside the plane, hence the “live television” blackouts and the prohibition on in-flight phone calls, etc. Do they envision some coordinated attack scenario that would be helped by a terrorist calling someone on the ground? Why are heads of state exempted? If these directives are going to protect people, shouldn’t heads of state and those with them be protected, perhaps even more so as they are bigger potential targets?

  2. I was just re-reading all of the comments and it got me to thinking. With all the delays and searches, etc. would it not be easier to have a system where you put all of your clothing and belongings into checked baggage and simply walk through in a gown? That’s where all of this seems headed anyway, why not save a large portion of the TSA budget and implement that system right now?

  3. So, won’t the terrorist just blow it up 61 minutes from landing? All we have achieved is to provide a perfect window for the terrorists to act during the commotion of people going to the lavatory, putting away their belongings, etc. As a frequent flyer, I recognize that the actions of TSA have been knee-jerk and ineffective in actually preventing an attack. They only serve to escalate inconvenience to travelers (the terrorists really scored on that account) and allay the fears of the uninitiated.

  4. Montana

    “it was clearly stated that the directive was NOT to be disiminated outside the TSA. ” In fact he directive was sent to thousands of people outside the TSA, in cities and nations high up on the DHS threat list.

    Happy Flying!

    -Fish

  5. Passenger should be recommended to wee in the cabin so that airlines are left with huge bills to clean the planes.

    Also they should have same policy for those lunatics politicians who bring out laws that does not affect them but affects general public.

  6. The Governmental exclusion says it all; it would be ludicrous to assume the young son of a High-ranking Yemeni government official would martyr hims… oh, never mind.
    Please keep frisking 75-year old grandmothers flying into the USA, and focus on the upper thighs and torso. Granny will fly to see me more often.

  7. Passengers who spot something strange or dangerous, should not be cut off from phone service. In the past- this is one of the FEW ways we have received information about T. activities on flight. In addition, families are able to talk to loved ones!!

    RE-
    Disable aircraft-integrated passenger communications systems and services (phone, internet access services, live television programming, global positioning systems) prior to boarding and during all phases of flight

  8. Recommend that all military and ex-military personnel (i.e., those who are most likely expert marksmen), at a minimum, carry guns on board. Use a round that will stop somebody while minimizing any collateral damage. Then NOBODY will hijack ANYTHING and we can all fly comfortably and confidently. I only use the airlines as a last resort nowadays. I have taken several long cross-country road trips in my cars, preferring it to airline travel. Why do we always blindly respond to criminal activity by revoking the rights of law-abiding people? This is the way some people treat their children.

  9. Especially ex-military who suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome so they can shoot their guns off every time they imagine the enemy is closing in. That’s all we need is people shooting guns off in an airplane. Now I know why I stopped flying.

  10. Especially ex-military who suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome so they can shoot their guns off every time they imagine the enemy is closing in. That’s all we need is people shooting guns off in an air

  11. So this “Security Directive” is NOT regulation then? If not, there is no APA approval for the process… Seems to me this is a “policy” rather than a “regulation.” Is there a regulation that lets the TSA make the Directive have regulation-like authority?

    I also like this section:

    2. During the boarding process, the air carrier may exempt passengers who are Heads of State or Heads of Government from the measures outlined in Section I.A. of this SD, including the following who are traveling with the Head of State or Head of Government:

    Just like our government to make it so they aren’t “bothered” like the rest of the cattle. Just like the Civil Rights Act and so many other laws that do not apply to those in Congress or in other parts of the Federal Service. 😉

  12. A covey of fogeys are writing on the identical place owing to this one, however unconditional is accomplished in a particular passage here. aliment corporal up.

  13. This is the precise TSA Security Directive SD-1544-09-06 : The Fallout From NW253 – Flying With Fish journal for anyone who wants to assay out out some this subject. You note so untold its most exhausting to discourse with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new aerobatics on a subject thats been engrossed almost for life. City bunk, but zealous!

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