ALPA Statement on Airline Passenger Security Screening

October 22, 2010 - The Air Line Pilots Association Int’l. (ALPA) fully supports effective airline passenger security screening. In fact, ALPA played a key role in influencing the federal government to mandate passenger screening in the early 1970s.

Recently, the use of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) as a security screening tool has raised privacy and other concerns in North America and around the world. ALPA acknowledges the reservations and concerns that some have expressed about the use of AIT. Countering these issues, however, is the fact that AIT can provide a significantly greater level of security than do walk-through metal detectors to keep improvised explosive devices and other threat objects off of airline aircraft.

Looking to the future, ALPA is advocating for the development of a trust-based security system that will focus on determining whether an individual possesses hostile intent using threat-object detection technology as a supplement to the screening process. Once implemented, this system will help reduce the need for use of invasive screening methods for the vast majority of the traveling public.

Responding to a Congressional mandate, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has already endorsed one component of a threat-based security system by approving implementation of the ALPA-conceived Crew Personnel Advanced Screening System (CrewPASS). CrewPASS, a dedicated security screening process for flight crewmembers, validates the identity and confirms the employment status of crewmembers in real time. ALPA has obtained the required approval from TSA for nationwide CrewPASS implementation; the Association is urging each carrier to make this system available for use of their flight crewmembers.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at