Israel and U.S. to Expand Civil Air Defense Cooperation

Transport Minister anu US TSA agree on security arrangements and technology

Israel and the United States will expand cooperation in securing passenger planes and airports from terror threats, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz and U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials agreed yesterday.

Talks between the two sides focused on closer cooperation in three central areas: on-board electro-optic systems, a code system for positively identifying the pilot flying a given airplane, and airport defense systems operating against the threat of missile fire.

In the area of electro-optic systems, Mofaz presented the Americans with a system being currently developed by Elbit Systems.

Two similar systems are being developed in the United States, but Mofaz suggested that the TSA officials test the systems to prove that the Israeli version is both more efficient and less expensive.

Mofaz also presented the system that positively identifies who is flying a plane as it enters a state's air space, which could help detect hijacked planes like those used during the September 11 tragedy.

An additional item of discussion was the defense systems of airports from the threat of missiles. The airport defense system is a joint project of an American company and Rafael.

The American company specializes in developing combat munitions, while the Israeli firm is developing the means of location and identification.