To expedite the crew-member screening process, the Air Line Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association of America have been championing the Known Crewmember initiative since 2007. Their efforts were rewarded on August 9 when Chicago O’Hare International Airport became the first test site for the security-screening program.
Enabling Transportation Security Administration agents to quickly identify airline crew members, the Known Crewmember program seeks to shorten passenger lines and enhance the screening process. So far, the program is only available to pilots, but ALPA and ATA officials hope the TSA opens it up to flight attendants in the future.
It’s an initiative ALPA President Capt. Lee Moak endorses wholeheartedly. “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,” he said in a statement.
ATA President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio agrees. “We are pleased to join with ALPA to advance an enhanced security-screening system that can improve security and reduce line congestion, benefiting both passengers and crew members,” he remarked.
Four more test sites are scheduled to commence at Miami International Airport in August, with subsequent trials occurring at Boston Logan International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.