Flight Attendants Call On TSA To Fully Implement CrewPass


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Flight Attendants Call On TSA To Fully Implement CrewPass

Shane Nolan

November 3, 2010 - The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) has once again called for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to fully implement CrewPass, an identification credential for aviation workers that promotes expedited screening of those who most frequently must pass through airport security. 

"TSA has devoted many resources to enhancing aviation security but, as recently announced screening procedures take effect, it is flight attendants who are adversely affected by lengthy airport security lines," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. 

"Flight attendants are subject to extensive background checks so there is no reasonable explanation why this highly vetted group of aviation employees continues to be exposed to lengthy airport security lines which may affect their ability to report to the aircraft on time. AFA-CWA supports a multi-layered aviation security system and we urge the TSA to continue work on improving airport security screening effectiveness."


For years, AFA-CWA has been urging TSA to devote serious resources to the appropriate development and full implementation of an aviation workers' identification credential that will promote expedited screening of those who most frequently must pass through airport security. This credential could employ biometrics, such as fingerprints, to quickly screen flight attendants and others. This would ultimately allow TSA to focus on more effective screening of the hundreds of airport vendors and thousands of aircraft passengers who daily pass through the screening checkpoints. 

Back in July 2008, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched "crewPASS", a test program designed to evaluate expedited access to secure areas of airports for properly credentialed commercial flight deck crew members. The program was a mandate of the 9/11 bill. The program was instituted at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport and Columbia (S.C.) Metropolitan Airport. 

Eligible flight deck crew members enter a secured area, presenting their airline-issued identification and another form of ID to transportation security officers (TSOs). The TSOs check the credentials via a secure, real-time flight deck crew member database that included a picture and other information to verify the individual's identity. Flight deck crew members were also subject to random screening, observation by behavior detection officers and other layers of security.  This test was conducted in cooperation with the Air Line Pilots Association, limited to flight deck crew members in uniform, and it was for a total of 60 days. At the end of the trial period it was determined that the program was a success.

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