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Flight Attendants Disapprove of Proposed TSA Revisions

Date: August 18, 2005

Washington, D.C. - The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) filed a formal complaint today with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in response to the recent announcement that the TSA will be reviewing proposals next month that could drastically revise current security procedures.

According to an August 5 document, proposals were made to lift the ban on various carry-on items such as scissors, razor blades, and knives less than five inches long.  Additionally, ice picks, throwing stars, and bows and arrows would also be allowed.

"These insane proposals put every flight attendant at risk every time they go to work." said Patricia Friend, AFA International President.  "The fact that the TSA shared these proposals with the press before discussing them with those who would be most affected is outrageous."

The TSA also recommends that certain individuals, such as airline pilots and Congressional leaders, be exempt from airport security screenings.

In May, before a Homeland Security subcommittee, AFA testified that while flight attendants are subject to the same amount of screening and background checks as pilots and should therefore be considered in the same regard, screening security practices are vital for every person boarding an aircraft.  "Security screenings play a crucial role in developing a layered security system and can help to protect against catastrophic attack." 

"The TSA should be trying to do more to keep terror from happening, not making it easier," said an active AFA flight attendant.  "We should be more proactive. We shouldn't let passengers or terrorists be allowed to bring weapons back on the aircraft."

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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