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July 24, 2012

Known Crewmember Program to Include Flight Attendants

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to the announcement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that flight attendants will be receive expedited security screening, as a part of the second phase of the Known Crewmember (KCM) program. Under the Known Crewmember program, which was started in 2011, pilots employed by U.S.-based airlines receive expedited security screening at TSA checkpoints, after their identities are verified.

In April 2011, Ranking Member Thompson and Transportation Security Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) sent a letter to TSA Administrator John S. Pistole urging him to broaden the population eligible for expedited screening to flight attendants. This month, at the invitation of Ranking Member Thompson, the Committee's Subcommittee on Transportation Security received testimony from a representative of the Association of Flight Attendants about the need for this reform.

I am pleased that TSA has agreed to allow expedited screening for all crew members of U.S.-based air carriers and will finally be allowing flight attendants in this risk-based security program. By doing so, TSA will be able to allocate its limited screening resources more effectively and, hopefully, reduce security checkpoint congestion. Even as I am pleased that TSA has made this announcement, I believe there's more to be done to improve this program. I will continue to work with TSA to explore how a biometric component could be added to the Known Crewmember program to make this program more secure.

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978