Aviation Security: Actions Needed to Better Identify and Track U.S.-Bound Public Charter Operations from Cuba

On August 31, 2016, as part of a shift in U.S. policy toward Cuba, air carriers resumed scheduled commercial flights between the United States and Cuba, a route previously only open to public and private charter carrier operations. In June 2017, travel restrictions were revised to require U.S. travelers going to Cuba to travel as part of a licensed group. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the agency responsible for securing the nation’s civil aviation system, assesses Cuban airports and inspects air carriers operating U.S-bound flights to ensure they have effective security measures in place. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review TSA’s assessments of Cuban aviation security. This report examines (1) the extent to which TSA followed its standard operating procedures when assessing aviation security at Cuban airports in fiscal years 2012 through 2017; (2) the results of TSA’s Cuban airport assessments in fiscal years 2012 through 2017; and (3) the results of TSA’s air carrier inspections for Cuba in fiscal years 2016—when commercial scheduled air service between the United States and Cuba resumed—and 2017. GAO reviewed TSA policies and procedures, observed TSA air carrier inspections in Cuba, and compared TSA data on assessments and inspections to data from the Department of Transportation. GAO recommends that TSA improve its ability to identify all public charters requiring inspection in Cuba and develop and implement a tool that more reliably tracks public charter operations between the United States and Cuba. TSA concurred with the recommendation.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 46p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01675647
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-18-526
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 12 2018 1:56PM