December 01, 2022

TSA Announces KCM Takeover, ALPA Fights Back

Today, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced its proposed “takeover” of the Known Crewmember (KCM) program with the following statement:

“In 2020, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) assumed more active management of the existing Known Crewmember (KCM) program operations. We have been working closely with Airlines for America (A4A) to identify capabilities of a future state KCM program that will be operated and managed by TSA in close collaboration with industry representatives. TSA is currently referring to the KCM future state as Expedited Crew Access (ECA) to differentiate current KCM discussions from the future state discussions. The future state program is being developed in phases with transition continuing over the next few years. Once the transition is complete the existing KCM checkpoint system will be replaced by a system operated and managed by TSA. Compliance with the KCM program remains a top priority for the TSA. TSA uses a variety of tools to promote compliance with this program. At this time, TSA will continue monitoring the frequency of KCM compliance incidents and use that information to make future decisions regarding the Unpredictable Screening Process (USP).”

ALPA president Capt. Joe DePete immediately fired back with a letter to TSA Administrator David Pekoske expressing ALPA’s ongoing concerns that the “lack of communication, engagement, and inclusiveness in KCM discussions and policy flies in the face of commonsense when you consider the vast resources and experience that ALPA has brought to the table.”

DePete continued that “[a]s the Pilot in Command, we are the final arbiter of safety and security, and we bring invaluable resources and expertise to the agency, but ALPA and airline pilots have once again been completely cut out of the discussion, a trend that has continued for more than four years under your leadership. This appears to be a management initiative that has intentionally cut labor out.”

In closing, DePete tells TSA to “reconsider this unilateral decision, bring stakeholders to the table, and engage in a thoughtful and constructive dialogue about how best to improve the KCM program.”