U.S. Moving on Measure to Thwart Terrorists, Aerial Hijackers

Transportation Secretary Brock Adams said yesterday that the Administration supported a bill that would prod certain foreign airports to take more effective measures to thwart terrorists and aerial hijackers.

Testifying before a House transportation subcommittee, Adams noted that there were 25 foreign air carrier hijackings world-wide in 1977, 21 of which were attributable to lax screening procedures at airports. He said that of 11 foreign hijackings so far this year, six were the result of ineffective screening.

Adams said the Administration favored a pending bill amending the 1958 Federal Aviation Act. It would authorize the Department of Transportation to assess the security measures at certain foreign airports and recommend action if the measures were found to be ineffective. If no improvements were made within six months, the names of the lax airports would be posted prominently at all air terminals used by American carriers.

Adams said that multi-national efforts were needed to protect air passengers from hijackers but the U.S. was prepared to take unilateral measures including the use of sanctions, to protect its citizens. He said that regulations extending security measures to charter flights would go into effect July 25.

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