By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends more preparation to protect the nation’s transportation infrastructure network from terrorist attacks.

“Training, drills, exercises, and strategic planning are particularly important to surface transportations systems such as: freight rail, highway and motor carrier, mass transit and passenger rail, and pipeline,” the agency says in its new “Public Area Security National Framework” report. “These systems are generally open environments, where very little is known about the travelers. Security challenges unique to these open-by-nature transportation systems can be mitigated by collaborating with surface transportation industry and security stakeholders.”

As transportation system designers and engineers seek to keep pace with travel trends and technology changes, “it is imperative” that they also incorporate “effective security while remaining sensitive to stakeholder needs,” TSA says in the 15-page report, which is mainly focused on airports. “To achieve that balance, airport designers need to build in security measures within their designs, not bolt on after the design is created.”

TSA has developed a risk assessment tool to develop strategies for real-world and hypothetical attack scenarios on transportation infrastructure, including highways and transit. It is intended to enhance awareness, identify trends and vulnerabilities, and drive security priorities and requirements.