Christine Spigai

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) established its Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) in 1989 following the bombing of Pan American World Airways Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Since then, the ASAC continues to advance its mission to provide TSA with advice on a wide breath of industry security matters through its roster of 33 thought-leader members.

Recently named to that elite team of subject matter experts is Rebecca Deer of MSA Security®, An Allied Universal® Company. We recently caught up with Rebecca to discuss her appointment.

Rebecca Deer, manager of aviation security for MSA SecurityCan you speak a little to your current role as manager of aviation security for MSA?
In my current role at MSA, I manage our organization’s compliance with the TSA’s Certified Cargo Security Program for K9s (CCSP-K9) and support our overall operations in the air cargo security space. In this role, I also serve as MSA’s CCSP-K9 Primary Security Coordinator (PSC), addressing corporate adherence to program requirements nationwide. This continues to afford me a deeper understanding of the unique and individual needs of our clients and partners. Through ongoing engagement with TSA representatives, I have also been able to guide our clients through regulatory processes and requirements while helping them maintain security integrity.

Tell me about MSA Security’s history with the TSA program?

MSA engaged with the TSA in 2010 to offer subject matter expertise on aviation security as the agency developed the CCSP-K9 program. As a company, we provided guidance on the necessary components of a strong explosive detection canine program so that the TSA could develop standards that ensure success in the field. When TSA officially launched the program in 2018, MSA was the first third-party canine provider to be approved. In addition to regulated screening in the U.S., MSA has worked with regulatory bodies in countries around the world to support their developing compliance models. We remain at the forefront of the industry and are wholly committed to meeting evolving demands, sharing valuable insight and expertise.

What prompted you to apply to ASAC?

The ASAC committee provides a clear opportunity to impact on our country’s aviation security. I found that exciting! I serve on the Air Cargo Subcommittee and on the Technology and Screening Effectiveness Task Force so I readily recognize this level of engagement can only strengthen both my commitment and depth of knowledge within the industry. These were primary drivers in choosing to pursue this opportunity to represent not only MSA, but the screening technology services industry at large.

What types of solutions address the current threat landscape best?

The most effective and efficient security solutions include a smart mix of resources, layered together to address an organization’s unique requirements. This certainly includes canines trained to detect potential threats such as explosives, narcotics, lithium batteries or firearms. Canines offer unmatched versatility, operational efficiency and cost savings in air cargo sort and freight environments. Well-executed X-ray screening by properly trained operators is also extremely important. MSA advances X-ray screening solutions with a distinctive technology that allows on-site screeners to connect with MSA’s Emergency Operations Center at the touch of a button for image interpretation through the eyes of experienced bomb technicians. Our patented Advanced Alarm Resolution is a valuable solution that combines all the above.

What other types of organizations are represented on ASAC?
As an entity charged with providing guidance on security posture through consultation, the committee appropriately includes representation from a variety of categories. There are currently 19 total areas of focus, including airport operations, travel, repairs and maintenance, an airline pilot association and of course, the area I represent, which is security technology.

What do you hope to accomplish in this new role?

I am looking forward to working alongside industry colleagues with a shared commitment. My hope is that I will bring a voice to the table that represents important security issues, challenges and opportunities for this sector – and help further develop, refine and execute important policies and programs that enhance security. I work with many different clients. They have different operational models and unique needs. I anticipate that by serving on ASAC I can provide an even greater wealth of knowledge and insight to our partners.



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