COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Officials from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) commemorated the 20th anniversary of the federalization of Albany International Airport (ALB) on Tuesday. The Albany international Airport launched under TSA security oversight 20 years ago this weekend, on Sept. 4, 2002, when the security checkpoint was first staffed by federal TSA officers one year after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) became law in November 2001, formally establishing the TSA. The TSA first consisted of about 100 people working at folding tables in the basement of the Department of Transportation national office.
20 years later, there are over 400 federalized airports and a workforce of about 60,000 employees nationwide. TSA has a staff of well over 100 employees who are assigned to work at Albany. 20 members of the TSA workforce have been working at ALB since the airport was federalized and they were recognized on Tuesday.
“The Transportation Security Administration was created 20 years ago approximately one year after the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.” said Bart R. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Albany International Airport and 12 other airports situated across the state. “The mission of the TSA is to protect our nation’s transportation system by outmatching a threat that has evolved since September 11.”
From the moment Albany was federalized 20 years ago until the present day, the “TSA team here at Albany has focused on this mission each and every day and is executing it using state of the art equipment by a professional and well trained workforce to prevent another terrorist attack from occurring,” Johnson said. “I consider myself to be very fortunate to work with such a dedicated group of TSA employees. We are also fortunate to have forged such strong partnerships with the Albany County Airport Authority, the airlines and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, which has further strengthened and improved our security posture.
Guided by an intelligence-based approach, TSA is now at the forefront of security technology and innovation. The organization said their new technology is something the original group of employees could have only imagined 20 years ago.