Maintaining Federal Security Screening at All Airports

Maintaining Federal Security Screening at All Airports

August 2, 2018 — CNN is reporting that the TSA is considering eliminating passenger screening at more than 150 small and medium-sized airports, serving aircraft with 60 seats or fewer, across the US. According to the report, the proposal states "passengers and luggage arriving from these smaller airports would be screened when they arrive at major airports for connecting flights instead of the current practice of joining the already screened population at the larger airport."

This is not a new idea, although in the past we have seen these proposals specific to one or two locations and not as broadly applied as this news report indicates. On those previous attempts to eliminate security at the smaller airports, AFA - in coordination with allies like the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), airlines, and passengers rights groups – has successfully stopped implementation of any such plans. We will work with our allies again to stop this and any future attempts to eliminate full, federal security at our airports.

Since CNN's report, TSA has issued this statement publicly:

“There has been no decision to eliminate passenger screening at any federalized U.S. airport. TSA remains committed to its core mission to secure the Homeland by screening more than 2.5 million airline passengers per day. Every year as part of the federal budget process TSA is asked to discuss potential operational efficiencies—this year is no different. Any potential operational changes to better allocate limited taxpayer resources are simply part of predecisional discussions and deliberations and would not take place without a risk assessment to ensure the security of the aviation system.”

As long as elimination of security at these smaller airports remains an option under the law, it remains a possibility. We encourage Congress to close this loophole once and for all. We must remain ever vigilant to maintain our security and improve it. We sent a letter to the TSA Administrator today to ensure AFA’s position is reiterated and clear. We oppose any reduction or privatization of our airport security.

Federalizing airport screening has been a success that has improved the security of air travel. Flight Attendants and passengers are safer today because of it. Flight Attendants are the last line of defense in aviation security and we depend on Transportation Security Officers and the TSA to keep our jobs and skies safe. We promised to Never Forget after September 11, 2001. AFA remains committed to working with TSA to ensure robust, federal security at all airports.

Leading Transportation Lawmakers Write to TSA >

Senator Markey Letter to TSA >

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