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Fri, Aug 12, 2011

Enhanced Airline Pilot Screening Underway At O’Hare

Program Strengthens Aviation Security, Expedites Passenger Screening

ALPA, the Air Line Pilots Association, International, and ATA, the Air Transport Association of America, which represents major airlines, began operating the first test site for the Known Crewmember program at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Tuesday. The new program positively verifies pilot identity and employment status, allowing them to bypass screening lines for passengers.

ALPA President Captain Lee Moak explains, "This enhanced screening process recognizes the extensive background checks pilots receive as part of their employment and, importantly, airline pilots’ critical role and responsibility in securing their aircraft each and every time they fly."

ATA President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio says the program needs to go a step further. "We urge the TSA to include flight attendants in the Known Crewmember screening system so that they – and the traveling public – may also benefit..."

ALPA and the ATA say it's their goal to make the program available to all U.S. airline pilots, and more than a dozen airlines already have connected to the system. The program, which links airline employee databases, initially will be available only to pilots, but ALPA, like the ATA, has asked the TSA to include flight attendants.

The trial phase for the first three Known Crewmember access points started Tuesday at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Four more access points are slated to open at Miami International Airport later this month, with more coming later this year at airports including Boston Logan International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

FMI: www.knowncrewmember.org

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