Release #06.046
August 10, 2006

ALPA’s President Capt. Duane Woerth Responds to U.K. Airline Plot

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Capt. Duane E. Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, issued the following statement after the recent terrorist plot was disrupted by UK Authorities.

“This morning’s announcement by U.K. authorities shows that the current security system worked. A plot was uncovered and disrupted before it could be acted upon. The international air transportation security community, along with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), should be commended for identifying the risk and acting to stop it.

“The public needs to understand that the current U.S. air transportation system is safe and secure. If we panic, the terrorists win. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that we are not merely bandaging the security problems facing us today. For example, we must adequately use our available security resources. Five years after 9/11, we still do not have a screening system in place that uses individual risk assessment to look for those who intend to do harm, rather than just screening for objects. The vast majority of individual travelers pose no security threat.

“In addition, trusted crewmembers, like pilots, need to be taken out of the screening process so that resources and time spent screening them is not wasted. Pilots have gone through strict background checks. It makes sense for TSA security assets to be effectively used to discover actual threats, not pilots who are often sent through airport security checkpoints four or five times per day.

“Lastly, existing programs and new initiatives to combat aviation security threats must be evaluated from a threat-driven, risk-managed perspective so that we properly finance programs that are of greatest importance and concern.”

ALPA represents 61,000 airline pilots at 40 airlines in the United States and Canada. Its website is

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ALPA CONTACTS: Jeff Orschel, Linda Shotwell, (703) 481-4440,