Flight Attendant Union Advocates To Congress On Future of Transportation Security

Washington, DC – The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) testified today at the “Challenging the Status Quo at TSA: Perspectives on the Future of Transportation Security” hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Transportation Security. Speaking on behalf of the world’s largest Flight Attendant union, AFA Flight Attendant Colby Alonso outlined recommendations for improving U.S. aviation security.

As first responders in the aircraft cabin, Flight Attendants have a unique perspective on a number of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) programs and the need for a risk-based approach to security. AFA outlined how expedited screening for all crewmembers (Known Crewmember), self defense training for Flight Attendants, the acquisition and deployment of discreet, crewmember communications equipment, and the continuation of the federalized TSA workforce will assist in responding to emerging security threats. 

“Flight Attendants routinely identify and manage threat levels, use our training to de-escalate threats, and provide direction to passengers willing to assist in restraining assailants. We are charged with protecting the cockpit at all costs, including the loss of our own lives. Security doesn’t just happen; over one hundred thousand Flight Attendants working in the U.S. aviation system ensure that our skies are safe,” said Alonso. 

AFA has been a consistent advocate for alternative screening that accurately reflects Flight Attendants’ credentials as pre-screened safety professionals as well as improving Flight Attendant training. By providing crewmembers with the information, skills and tools necessary to respond to a new form of security threat, the industry can continue to move forward and remain vigilant in pursuit of safer and more secure skies.

The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for over 65 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants at 21 airlines come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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