All Airlines Eligible To Participate In Initial Testing
Representatives from ALPA and ATA met recently with
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John S.
Pistole and received approval from TSA for testing of a new
crewmember screening system. This enhanced identity and employment
verification system for airline pilots will make airport checkpoint
screening more efficient for all who depend on air
The system, which is jointly sponsored by ALPA and ATA, will tie
airline employee databases together in a seamless way and enable
TSA security officers to positively verify identity and employment
status of crewmembers. In 2007, ALPA promoted to TSA the first
version of an alternate screening method called the Crew Personnel
Advanced Screening System (CrewPASS). CrewPASS has been used
successfully at three East Coast airports for almost three years.
This enhanced process leverages current technology to provide an
effective and cost efficient solution.
“I look forward to the full national deployment of a
known crewmember program at the earliest possible date,” said
ALPA President Captain Lee Moak. “As professional airline
pilots, we have been through employment checks; we have been
fingerprinted; we have been through criminal background checks. We
are the most highly screened employees in the aviation industry,
and we are on the frontlines of our nation’s aviation
security effort every day, empowered to help protect it. This
enhanced process recognizes those facts by providing pilots with a
technologically modern and highly efficient alternative to the
traditional security screening process.”
“We are proud to partner with ALPA on this effort,”
said ATA President Nicholas E. Calio. “Our nation’s
airline pilots are highly skilled and trusted partners within our
industry, and with this new system we can improve the screening
system for flight crews while reducing congestion and improving the
travel experience for passengers in TSA security
“Deploying an enhanced screening program for pilots in
uniform that allows TSA to verify their employment and identity is
a step in the right direction as TSA continues to explore more
risk-based, intelligence-driven security solutions,” said TSA
Administrator John S. Pistole. “We want to focus our limited
resources on passenger screening, while speeding and enhancing the
checkpoint experience for everyone.”
Any TSA-regulated U.S. airline that wishes to connect to this
enhanced system will be able to do so, and any airline pilot
employed by one of those carriers will be able to participate in
the program. Testing is projected to begin at a limited number of
airports later this year. The tests will run for approximately 90
days and if successful will expand to additional U.S. airports.
Implementation of this system is the culmination of ongoing
discussions precipitated by an earlier announcement by TSA to
modify checkpoint screening procedures for crewmembers while an
identity verification system was being developed.
"More efficient, updated and secure systems for commercial
aviation are long overdue and we are proud to partner with
regulators, Southwest Airlines and other organizations to improve
the screening process for all professional flight crews," said
Captain Steve Chase, President of the Southwest Airlines Pilots'
Association. "Our flight crews are professionals and trusted agents
and should be permitted to have greater ease of movement about the
airport while on duty."
"We commend TSA's efforts to advance streamlined security
screening for our pilots. However, TSA should not overlook the
integral role of flight attendants who share responsibility with
pilots for the safety and security of our customers," said Richard
Anderson, Delta's chief executive. "Continued progress in this area
must be made by recognizing that flight attendants are trusted
trained professionals who undergo comprehensive background checks
and deserve to be included in this program."