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Sun, Aug 29, 2004

NBTA Gives Thumbs-Up To TSA's Secure Flight

Sees replacement for CAPPS II as a positive step, TSA mitigates privacy and cost concerns

The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) said on Saturday that it views the TSA's announcement that it will test and implement the Secure Flight air passenger prescreening program instead of the CAPPS II program as a positive step toward meeting the privacy and operational concerns with passenger prescreening raised by NBTA and other business, travel and privacy groups.

In a conference call today with TSA, NBTA learned that Secure Flight avoids the broad passenger risk assessment and law enforcement functions proposed for CAPPS II to focus solely on identifying passengers listed on no-fly lists and on lists of known and potential terrorists. The program promises a better, faster and standardized process of redress for passengers incorrectly identified as being on one of the target lists.

Because Secure Flight uses data housed in existing air carrier systems, it will not require corporations, travel agents, Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) or carriers to incur significant compliance costs as was expected under CAPPS II. TSA explained Secure Flight will include "strict privacy protections including passenger redress procedures, data security mechanisms, and limitations on use."

NBTA President and CEO, Carol. A. Devine, said, "NBTA has continually lobbied in favor of reforming the CAPPS II proposal. The announcement of Secure Flight indicates that TSA has heard our concerns and is working to meet them. Like the collaborative effort that is the hallmark of the Registered Traveler Pilot Program, NBTA will continue to encourage private and public sector cooperation in the various programs related to securing our nation's transportation system. As Secure Flight is tested and rolled out, NBTA will continue to monitor how well the program meets privacy and cost concerns."

FMI: www.nbta.org

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