KCM, CASS, and Jumpseat Availability
Due to the pandemic, numerous U.S. airlines have greatly reduced the scope of their operations and a few, regrettably, are terminating operations. Pilots who are furloughed, terminated, or on other types of leave due to the pandemic need to know what is available to them regarding continued use of Known Crewmember (KCM), Cockpit Access Security System (CASS), and jumpseats. Airline- and government-issued identification is required for use of all three programs. Following is guidance and information on all three crewmember benefits.
Differences may exist from airline to airline on each of these three crewmember privileges. For additional information or questions about policies at your airline, please contact your MEC security chairman/coordinator (regarding KCM) or your jumpseat coordinator (regarding CASS and jumpseat). ALPA’s Engineering and Air Safety Department is available for additional assistance (EAS@alpa.org, 800-424-2470).
KCM is a program intended for the sole use of active airline crewmembers (pilots and flight attendants). When a crewmember is furloughed or terminated for any reason, to include an airline ceasing its operations, they are no longer considered to be active, and TSA gives that airline 24 hours to remove affected crewmembers from the KCM database once an individual’s status changes. The company may, with TSA’s permission, allow crewmembers continued use of KCM long enough to get home or wherever they need to go following furlough or termination.
Many airline employees, including crewmembers, have taken an extended voluntary leave of absence, and it is important to know how this affects your eligibility for and reinstatement into the Known Crewmember (KCM) program. KCM is a risk-based system that enables TSA security officers to positively verify the identity and employment status of active pilot and flight attendant crewmembers (i.e., flying the line). Crewmembers on short-term disability, long-term disability, Family Medical Leave Act, military deployment, voluntary leave of absence, furlough, suspension, termination, retirement, or other leave of absence must be suspended or removed from the KCM system. Upon returning to work, it is recommended that you contact your airline management or crew records department to see if your KCM file has been reactivated. This will ensure your ability to use the KCM system again.
Cockpit Access Security System
CASS is intended for the use of active airline pilots, dispatchers, and air traffic controllers to assist in gaining authorized access to the flight deck jumpseat. Within certain parameters, TSA allows airlines to determine who is serving as an “active” airline pilot. Once an individual is no longer determined to be active, the airline removes the individual from CASS.
Similar to CASS, the availability of the jumpseat to furloughed and terminated employees is dependent on the pilot’s airline policy and jumpseat agreements with other airlines. In such cases, a letter is normally sent from an offline airline to the airline that is furloughing/terminating employees stating that their pilots may use the jumpseat privilege for a short duration for a space available seat in the cabin, not on the flight deck, with the captain’s approval.