Major efforts included the passage of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, which provides assistance to governments during a bioterrorism attack. Also, DHS created the BioWatch Program to deploy a rapid response team for bioattacks and lastly, the Project BioShield Act, which appropriated funds for advanced R&D efforts for biological weapons. Furthermore, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act was created in 2006, which provides more opportunity to procure vaccines, drugs, therapies and tools for public health emergencies. Private sector groups have also been heavily involved in developing tools to prevent and respond to bioterrorism. General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman have been working on biodetection technology solutions, among many others.
Even though threats will continue to emerge from abroad and within our homeland I am convinced that our government and private-sector companies will remain vigilant in staying one step ahead in developing policy and products to make aviation security, cybersecurity, information sharing and biosecurity worthwhile in preventing future terrorist attacks from occurring. Keep in mind that these are just the first four topics covered in the project. Look for the second quarter topics next month. Read more on transportation security issues at UGPTI’s Transportation Security Blog, posting daily on the topics that really matter. NeTia Richards is a research technician at the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, North Dakota State University.