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AFA Welcomes Expanded Electronic Screening

Date: July 8, 2004

TSA to Close Loophole Giving Easy Access to Airport Employees

WASHINGTON —The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO, today lauded a decision by the Transportation Security Administration to require that airport workers undergo routine security screening prior to gaining access to secure areas.

"The existing policy has long been a gaping hole in the security net that the TSA has cast over our nation’s air passenger terminals," noted AFA President Pat Friend. "This change recognizes that any person, whether wittingly or unwittingly, may pose a potential risk."

In the past, the TSA has relied on background checks to determine which workers, who are typically employed in shops and restaurants, may be objects of concern. The agency had been urged by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), ranking Democrat on the House Aviation Subcommittee, to close the loophole permitting workers entry with the simple flash of an identification badge.

"It's been nearly three years since the enactment of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act," said DeFazio. "I'm pleased that TSA has finally taken steps to close these gaping security loopholes." The policy change also will reduce the number of identification badges issued and will tighten security with respect to doors beyond security checkpoints that provide access to aircraft and tarmacs.

More than 46,000 flight attendants join together to form AFA, the world’s largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000 member strong Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org

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