David P. Pekoske pledges to support aviation industry

The recently confirmed administrator of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), David P. Pekoske, has pledged to the aviation industry “to do whatever I can to be a great partner” in remarks at the 26th AVSEC World conference in November.

In his keynote AVSEC address, Pekoske thanked airlines for their co-operation with TSA since his appointment in August, and called on airlines to work with TSA to “raise the baseline of aviation security around the world…We need you to help drive change.”

He said TSA was pursuing enhancements to screening and agreements with “new countries,” improvements to staff training and moving away from “one size fits all” assessments toward new measures that would be “effective and flexible to handle tomorrow’s security risks.”

At a press conference following Pekoske’s talk, Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President, Airports, Passenger, Cargo & Security CEO, said, “I would use the word ‘encouraging’“ to characterize Pekoske’s statements.

IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac referenced the “difficult start” to Pekoske’s working relationship with the aviation industry following the laptop ban, going on to say that he believed the remarks “more than encouraging; he was advocating co-operation. If he is ready to do that, it [the relationship with the aviation industry] is working.”