WASHINGTON, July 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions, representing nearly 90,000 Flight Attendants in the United States, applauds the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for announcing inclusion of all U.S.-based Flight Attendants into the risk-based, Known Crewmember program. Veda Shook, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) International President; Laura Glading, Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) President; Sito Pantoja, International Association of Machinists (IAM) General Vice President; Captain David Bourne, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Airline Division Director; and Jim Little, Transport Workers Union (TWU) International President, today issued the following statement:
"Flight Attendants across the United States have secured a top priority: inclusion in the alternate, expedited security screening program, Known Crewmember. Flight Attendants are key partners in aviation security. Providing the same access to expedited, alternate screening for all crewmembers will help advance aviation security and the overall travel experience for passengers.
"Including Flight Attendants in KCM has many benefits. For Flight Attendants, it is recognition of our important role as first responders and as integral members of a security team charged with ensuring the safety of air transportation. Reporting to work with procedures that support our role is paramount. For the TSA, alternate screening allows resources to be focused more on improving security through risk-based screening. For the traveling public, KCM will reduce the number of individuals passing through TSA passenger checkpoints and will remove obstacles to the timely arrival of crewmembers reporting for duty at the aircraft.
"Inclusion of Flight Attendants and Pilots in the same KCM program recognizes that all crewmembers are subject to the same intense screening and background checks, and all crewmembers are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. The Flight Attendant members we represent are especially grateful for the forceful advocacy and unwavering support we received from Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Bennie Thompson and Senator Mary Landrieu who championed this issue and helped make today's announcement a reality.
"On behalf of nearly 90,000 Flight Attendants in the U.S., we applaud the TSA for their efforts to continually improve the traveling experience with effective airport security screening. We also appreciate the efforts of our airlines through A4A, the work of the Air Line Pilots Association, and our allies in industry and in government for supporting a risk-based approach to security in our nation's aviation system."
Known Crewmember is a program of expedited screening for authorized and trusted crew members at security screening checkpoints utilizing established security clearances that each aviation employee clears as a condition of employment. Flight attendants could begin to experience expedited screening as early as the fall 2012.
The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions coordinates on issues of mutual interest to Flight Attendants.
SOURCE Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA)