Pre-Clearance Agreement to Strengthen Aviation Security
On July 24, Ms. Victoria Reeder, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Office of Global Strategies (OGS) in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security made an official two-day visit to The Bahamas to hold high level bilateral discussions with senior Bahamian government officials on international aviation issues. The OGS is responsible for identifying and mitigating risks at nearly 300 foreign airports from which U.S. airlines operate or U.S.-bound passengers and cargo depart. When an international aviation-related threat emerges, OGS leads the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s activities in responding to the event.
On Thursday, July 25, DAA Reeder, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, John Dinkelman, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Fred Mitchell and Minister of Transport and Aviation, Glenys Hanna-Martin, participated in the TSA Pre-Clearance Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signing ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Bahamas becomes the first country in the entire Caribbean and only the second country among all TSA preclearance locations worldwide to implement the program. The MOC serves to strengthen the U.S./Bahamian cooperative effort in aviation security.
In her remarks, DAA Reeder congratulated the Bahamian government on the airport expansion and upgrades to the Lynden Pindling International Airport, which she touted as being one of the finest airport facilities in the entire Caribbean. DAA Reeder also conveyed TSA’s appreciation to The Bahamas government for their ongoing support of airport assessments and air carrier inspections. She acknowledged that TSA relies heavily on its Bahamian counterparts to implement passenger checkpoint screening standards comparable to that in the U.S. and applauded the efforts of The Bahamas’ Civil Aviation personnel in effectively meeting those standards.
Following the bilateral discussions, officials committed to continued collaboration on aviation safety, the sharing of best practices related to technology and operational procedures, and continued efforts to upgrade the standards at Family Island airports with direct flights to the United States.
U.S. Embassy in Nassau
Top photo: DAA Reeder and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell participate in the TSA Pre-Clearance MOC signing ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Bottom photo: Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe presents Victoria Reeder, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Office of Global Strategies (OGS), with a special gift during a courtesy call on July 24th. (Photo courtesy, Derek Smith, Bahamas Information Services).