TSA approves testing of crewmember screening system
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently approved a measure presented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) and the Air Transport Association (ATA) to test a new crewmember screening system. The system is designed to increase efficiency and streamline processes.
The identity and employment verification system will combine airline employee databases and allow TSA officers to quickly recognize flight crewmembers. The first alternative screening method, dubbed the Crew Personnel Advanced Screening System (CrewPASS), was developed in 2007.
Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport and Columbia Metropolitan Airport in S.C. currently use CrewPASS daily.
ALPA President Captain Lee Moak has high hopes for the national deployment of such technology. “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,” he said in a statement.
“This enhanced process recognizes those facts by providing pilots with a technologically modern and highly efficient alternative to the traditional security screening process.”’
TSA Administrator John S. Pistole echoes Moak’s sentiments. “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,” Pistole said in a statement. “We want to focus our limited resources on passenger screening, while speeding and enhancing the checkpoint experience for everyone.”
TSA anticipates that 90-day testing will begin at selected airports later this year. If the initial trials are successful, additional U.S. airports will undergo testing.