AFA Welcomes Expanded Security Screening

TSA to Close Loophole Giving Easy Access to Airport Employees

Jul 08, 2004, 01:00 ET from Association of Flight Attendants

    WASHINGTON, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- 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

SOURCE Association of Flight Attendants