Officials from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) commemorated the 20th anniversary of the federalization of New York Stewart International Airport (SWF) on Saturday, November 12, 2022.
SWF launched under TSA security oversight 20 years ago this past weekend, on Nov. 12, 2002, when the security checkpoint was first staffed by federal TSA officers a little more than one year after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) became law in November 2001, formally establishing the TSA. That fall, TSA consisted of about 100 people working at folding tables in the basement of the Department of Transportation national office. Today, 20 years later, there are 430 federalized airports and a workforce of about 60,000 employees nationwide. TSA has a staff of approximately 60 employees who are assigned to work at Stewart. Ten members of the TSA workforce have been working at SWF since the airport was federalized.
“From the initial federalization as a TSA airport 20 years ago until the present day, the professional and well-trained security officer workforce here at Stewart Airport has focused on this mission every day, and is executing with state-of-the-art equipment to prevent another terrorist attack from occurring,” said Robert Duffy, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport.
In the intervening years since launching, “TSA has developed and implemented strong security procedures, built a well-trained and highly skilled professional workforce, and introduced a wide array of state-of-the-art technologies to screen passengers, baggage and cargo,” Duffy said.
Guided by an intelligence-based approach, today TSA is at the forefront of security technology and innovation. Technologies such as computed tomography, credential authentication technology and advanced imaging technology have greatly improved TSA’s detection and identity verification capabilities in ways the initial group of TSA employees could have only imagined 20 years ago.