49 U.S.C. § 114 - Transportation Security Administration

Cite as:49 U.S.C. § 114
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) IN GENERAL.-The Transportation Security Administration shall be an administration of the Department of Homeland Security.

(b) LEADERSHIP.-

(1) HEAD OF TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION.-

(A) APPOINTMENT.-The head of the Administration shall be the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (referred to in this section as the "Administrator"). The Administrator shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(B) QUALIFICATIONS.-The Administrator must-

(i) be a citizen of the United States; and

(ii) have experience in a field directly related to transportation or security.

(C) TERM.-Effective with respect to any individual appointment by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, after the date of enactment of the TSA Modernization Act, the term of office of an individual appointed as the Administrator shall be 5 years. The term of office of an individual serving as the Administrator on the date of enactment of the TSA Modernization Act shall be 5 years beginning on the date that the Administrator began serving.

(2) DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR.-

(A) APPOINTMENT.-There is established in the Transportation Security Administration a Deputy Administrator, who shall assist the Administrator in the management of the Transportation Security Administration. The Deputy Administrator shall be appointed by the President.

(B) VACANCY.-The Deputy Administrator shall be Acting Administrator during the absence or incapacity of the Administrator or during a vacancy in the office of Administrator.

(C) QUALIFICATIONS.-The Deputy Administrator must-

(i) be a citizen of the United States; and

(ii) have experience in a field directly related to transportation or security.

(3) CHIEF COUNSEL.-

(A) APPOINTMENT.-There is established in the Transportation Security Administration a Chief Counsel, who shall advise the Administrator and other senior officials on all legal matters relating to the responsibilities, functions, and management of the Transportation Security Administration.

(B) QUALIFICATIONS.-The Chief Counsel must be a citizen of the United States.

(c) LIMITATION ON OWNERSHIP OF STOCKS AND BONDS.-The Administrator may not own stock in or bonds of a transportation or security enterprise or an enterprise that makes equipment that could be used for security purposes.

(d) FUNCTIONS.-The Administrator shall be responsible for security in all modes of transportation, including-

(1) carrying out chapter 449, relating to civil aviation security, and related research and development activities; and

(2) security responsibilities over other modes of transportation that are exercised by the Department of Transportation.

(e) SCREENING OPERATIONS.-The Administrator shall-

(1) be responsible for day-to-day Federal security screening operations for passenger air transportation and intrastate air transportation under sections 44901 and 44935;

(2) develop standards for the hiring and retention of security screening personnel;

(3) train and test security screening personnel; and

(4) be responsible for hiring and training personnel to provide security screening at all airports in the United States where screening is required under section 44901, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation and the heads of other appropriate Federal agencies and departments.

(f) ADDITIONAL DUTIES AND POWERS.-In addition to carrying out the functions specified in subsections (d) and (e), the Administrator shall-

(1) receive, assess, and distribute intelligence information related to transportation security;

(2) assess threats to transportation;

(3) develop policies, strategies, and plans for dealing with threats to transportation security;

(4) make other plans related to transportation security, including coordinating countermeasures with appropriate departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government;

(5) serve as the primary liaison for transportation security to the intelligence and law enforcement communities;

(6) on a day-to-day basis, manage and provide operational guidance to the field security resources of the Administration, including Federal Security Managers as provided by section 44933;

(7) enforce security-related regulations and requirements;

(8) identify and undertake research and development activities necessary to enhance transportation security;

(9) inspect, maintain, and test security facilities, equipment, and systems;

(10) ensure the adequacy of security measures for the transportation of cargo;

(11) oversee the implementation, and ensure the adequacy, of security measures at airports and other transportation facilities;

(12) require background checks for airport security screening personnel, individuals with access to secure areas of airports, and other transportation security personnel;

(13) work in conjunction with the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration with respect to any actions or activities that may affect aviation safety or air carrier operations;

(14) work with the International Civil Aviation Organization and appropriate aeronautic authorities of foreign governments under section 44907 to address security concerns on passenger flights by foreign air carriers in foreign air transportation;

(15) establish and maintain a National Deployment Office as required under section 44948 of this title; and

(16) carry out such other duties, and exercise such other powers, relating to transportation security as the Administrator considers appropriate, to the extent authorized by law.

(g) NATIONAL EMERGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-Subject to the direction and control of the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Administrator, during a national emergency, shall have the following responsibilities:

(A) To coordinate domestic transportation, including aviation, rail, and other surface transportation, and maritime transportation (including port security).

(B) To coordinate and oversee the transportation-related responsibilities of other departments and agencies of the Federal Government other than the Department of Defense and the military departments.

(C) To coordinate and provide notice to other departments and agencies of the Federal Government, and appropriate agencies of State and local governments, including departments and agencies for transportation, law enforcement, and border control, about threats to transportation.

(D) To carry out such other duties, and exercise such other powers, relating to transportation during a national emergency as the Secretary of Homeland Security shall prescribe.

(2) AUTHORITY OF OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES.-The authority of the Administrator under this subsection shall not supersede the authority of any other department or agency of the Federal Government under law with respect to transportation or transportation-related matters, whether or not during a national emergency.

(3) CIRCUMSTANCES.-The Secretary of Homeland Security shall prescribe the circumstances constituting a national emergency for purposes of this subsection.

(h) MANAGEMENT OF SECURITY INFORMATION.-In consultation with the Transportation Security Oversight Board, the Administrator shall-

(1) enter into memoranda of understanding with Federal agencies or other entities to share or otherwise cross-check as necessary data on individuals identified on Federal agency databases who may pose a risk to transportation or national security;

(2) establish procedures for notifying the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, appropriate State and local law enforcement officials, and airport or airline security officers of the identity of individuals known to pose, or suspected of posing, a risk of air piracy or terrorism or a threat to airline or passenger safety;

(3) in consultation with other appropriate Federal agencies and air carriers, establish policies and procedures requiring air carriers-

(A) to use information from government agencies to identify individuals on passenger lists who may be a threat to civil aviation or national security; and

(B) if such an individual is identified, notify appropriate law enforcement agencies, prevent the individual from boarding an aircraft, or take other appropriate action with respect to that individual; and

(4) consider requiring passenger air carriers to share passenger lists with appropriate Federal agencies for the purpose of identifying individuals who may pose a threat to aviation safety or national security.

(i) VIEW OF NTSB.-In taking any action under this section that could affect safety, the Administrator shall give great weight to the timely views of the National Transportation Safety Board.

(j) ACQUISITIONS.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-The Administrator is authorized-

(A) to acquire (by purchase, lease, condemnation, or otherwise) such real property, or any interest therein, within and outside the continental United States, as the Administrator considers necessary;

(B) to acquire (by purchase, lease, condemnation, or otherwise) and to construct, repair, operate, and maintain such personal property (including office space and patents), or any interest therein, within and outside the continental United States, as the Administrator considers necessary;

(C) to lease to others such real and personal property and to provide by contract or otherwise for necessary facilities for the welfare of its employees and to acquire, maintain, and operate equipment for these facilities;

(D) to acquire services, including such personal services as the Secretary of Homeland Security determines necessary, and to acquire (by purchase, lease, condemnation, or otherwise) and to construct, repair, operate, and maintain research and testing sites and facilities; and

(E) in cooperation with the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, to utilize the research and development facilities of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(2) TITLE.-Title to any property or interest therein acquired pursuant to this subsection shall be held by the Government of the United States.

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