The Airport Vulnerability Assessment Project (AVAP) is the direct result of congressional funding of recommendation 3.13 of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. This project takes a new approach to the assessment of U.S. commercial airports. AVAP uses automation, analytical methods and tools to evaluate vulnerability and risk, and to analyze cost/benefits in a more quantitative manner. This paper addresses both the process used to conduct this program, as well as a generalized look at the results, which have been achieved for the initial airport assessments. The process description covers the acquisition approach, the project structure, and a review of the various methodologies and tools being used by the sever performing organizations (Abacus Technology, Battelle, CTI, Lockwood Greene, Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center, SAIC, and Science & Engineering Associates). The tools described include ASSESS, SAM, RiskWatch, CASRAP, and AVAT. Included in the process is the utilization of an advisory panel made up predominantly of experts from the National Laboratories 9Sandia, Oak Ridge, Argonne and Brookhaven). The results portion addresses the findings and products resulting from the initial airport assessments. High level (unrestricted) summaries of the results are presented, along with initial trends in commonly recommended security improvements (countermeasures). Opportunities for the application of optics technology are identified.