Washington, DCSenator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation, will preside over a Senate field hearing at West Virginia University in Morgantown that will examine the possible uses of biometrics and other technologies to strengthen aviation security. Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Jane Garvey will be among several panelists testifying.
p. Biometrics is the emerging field of technology devoted to identification of individuals using biological traits, such as those based on retinal or iris scanning, fingerprints, or face recognition. These technologies are being increasingly employed in security-related measures, and could be used in new ways, such as making positive identifications of employees and passengers in airports.

After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, the need to upgrade airport security quickly became one of the top priorities for Congress. Senator Rockefeller played a key role in drafting the Aviation Security Bill, which passed the Senate on October 11th by unanimous vote. The legislation includes provisions to make airport screening a function of federal law enforcement. The bill also mandates the screening of all baggage, requires the Department of Justice to increase the presence of Federal Air Marshals on commercial flights, provides every pilot and flight attendant with anti-hijack training, and requires the Federal Aviation Administration to take actions to further secure cockpit doors.

In addition to the Senate hearing, biometric and identification technology companies will display their products and services before and after the hearing. The displays will be set up in the Law Center lobby outside the hearing room. The hearing is open to the public. The display booths will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

* WHO :* Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) Chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation

* WHAT :* Congressional Field HearingBiometric Technology and Aviation Security

* WHEN :* Monday, November 5, 2001, 12:00 noon

* WHERE :* West Virginia University College of Law Law Center- Evansdale Campus 1 Law Center Drive Court Room 165 Morgantown