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Sun, May 20, 2012

Union Urges Extending Advanced TSA Screening Beyond Pilots

USW Provided Testimony Before The House Transportation Security Subcommittee

During testimony presented Wednesday, the United Steelworkers (USW) urged the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Transportation Security to expand advanced TSA screening programs used by pilots to airline flight deck and cabin crew members.

In testimony submitted for the subcommittee hearing titled "Access Control Point Breaches at Our Nation's Airports: Anomalies or Systemic Failures?", USW International Vice President At-Large Carol Landry said that expanding these advanced screening programs to airline flight deck and cabin crew members would grant them expedited access through screening checkpoints and make everyone safer. "The problem is that the current limited versions of risk-based surveillance screening systems like CrewPASS and Known Crew Member are available only to pilots and limited to a few locations," Landry said. "Excluding flight attendants from the risk-based surveillance program creates a system where TSA agents must spend valuable screening time inspecting workers who are trained to be the last line of defense in the aircraft cabin."

In the testimony, Landry, who leads the union's Airline Division, said a USW member was required to go through multiple pat-downs due to the metals implanted during a knee replacement surgery. The invasive pat downs not only slowed security screening and caused the flight to be delayed by over an hour, but also created a scenario where TSA screening time was needlessly spent on a flight attendant with over twelve years of employment with the airline and thousands of hours of flight time.

USW-represented flight attendants believe that TSA could provide quicker, more secure access to the flight deck by fully implementing a risk-based surveillance screening system for the entire flight crew. By employing a system that allows trusted and experienced crew members rapid access through TSA security check points, TSA will better accomplish the agencies mission to "protect the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce."

FMI: www.usw.org

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