White House Announces TSA Chief Nominee

 - September 15, 2009, 12:12 PM

President Obama on Thursday announced that he intends to nominate Erroll Southers as the fifth administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). A former FBI agent, Southers is currently an assistant chief for the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department’s Office of Homeland Security and Intelligence. He also serves as the associate director of the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events at the University of Southern California, where he was previously an adjunct professor of terrorism, homeland security and public policy. Reaction from the aviation trade groups was mostly positive, if not a bit cautious. NATA president Jim Coyne said, “Southers’ vast experience with homeland security and terrorism will serve him well as the next administrator of the TSA,” adding that he looks forward to working with him on “critical security issues facing the general aviation industry.” NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen struck a more cautious tone: “As the White House prepares to submit this nomination, the business aviation community has a number of very important concerns before the TSA. We will be closely monitoring the progress of Southers’ nomination, and working to ensure that he has a full understanding of the unique operating needs of our members.”