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Flight Attendants Oppose 'Pilot Only' Security Screening

Date: May 21, 2008

Washington, DC - The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) reiterated their concerns today regarding a special Transportation Security Administration (TSA) initiative that would allow over 75,000 pilots to avoid being screened like other aviation employees. The pilot only screening is scheduled to begin testing this summer.

For over three years, AFA-CWA has been urging TSA to devote serious resources to the development of an aviation workers identification credential that will promote expedited screening of those who most frequently must pass through airport security. This credential could employ biometrics, such as fingerprints, to get flight attendants and others through quickly.

"AFA-CWA supports a multi layered aviation security system and while progress has been made in overall aviation screening over the past several years, there is a continuing need to improve airport security screening effectiveness," said AFA-CWA International President Patricia Friend. "An aviation worker identification credential will allow the TSA to focus on more effective screening of the hundreds of airport vendors and thousands of aircraft passengers who daily pass through the screening checkpoints."

Flight attendants are subject to the same amount of employment screening and background checks as pilots so there is no reasonable explanation for allowing pilots to bypass airport screening while requiring the only other employee group who works on board the aircraft, flight attendants, to continue reporting to work through lengthy airport security lines.

"Flight attendants are an integral part of the crew in terms of safety and security and should be treated in the same regard as other aviation employees who are subject to the same intense screening and background checks," said Friend. 

For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill.  More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come 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 (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.

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