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Association Of Flight Attendants Testify Before Senate On New TSA Regulations

Date: December 12, 2005

Washington, DC - Patricia A. Friend, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, testified today before the United States Senate Transportation Committee regarding the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) new passenger screening procedures which will allow a partial lift of items currently on the prohibited items list.

"The prohibited items list is an integral layer in making our aviation system secure and it must remain in place," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President in her testimony.  "As the front line safety and security personnel onboard every commercial passenger aircraft in this country, we believe that these proposed changes will further endanger the lives of all flight attendants and the passengers we work so hard to keep safe and secure."

The new measures, which take effect December 22, will allow passengers to carry-on scissors and other potentially dangerous household tools, such as screwdrivers.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill, H.R. 4452, which would prevent TSA from removing any items from the prohibited items list.  Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) plans to introduce a companion bill later this week.

"If the concern of TSA is to reduce the amount of time spent on screening bags and to focus on the detection of explosives, we believe that a better use of TSA's authority would be to uniformly and strictly enforce current carry-on baggage limitations.  By enforcing these limitations at screener checkpoints, TSA would potentially cut down on the size and number of items that screeners must check and would free up their time to focus on explosive detection," offered Friend.

75 Years of Safety & Service: 60 Years of Unity This year marks the 75th anniversary of the flight attendant profession and the 60th anniversary of the Association of Flight Attendants.  More than 46,000 flight attendants join together to form AFA-CWA, 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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