July 14, 2006

ALPA Reaction to Jumpseat Changes

On Wednesday, July 12, ALPA issued a FastRead about a new TSA rule that requires pilots who want to enter airport sterile areas to possess either a SIDA badge for that specific airport or a crewmember badge for an airline serving the airport. ALPA jumpseaters who do not have either of those items must obtain a boarding pass or gate pass before entering TSA security screening.

The TSA put this new rule into effect without any coordination with ALPA or the airline industry. ALPA is opposed to this rule, as is the airline industry, because it offers no apparent benefit to aviation security and creates unwarranted difficulties for pilots. The TSA has scheduled a meeting with ALPA and airline organizations on July 19 to review the need for this new rule. At that meeting, ALPA representatives will urge the TSA to eliminate the new identification procedure and will reiterate the Association's call for a biometric-based identification system that can be used to expedite pilots' passage through TSA screening checkpoints. ALPA's members will be promptly notified of the outcome of this meeting.

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