Release #06.056
September 25, 2006

ALPA to TSA: Focus on Intent, not Objects

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Capt. Duane E. Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement after the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced it will allow certain liquids, gels, and aerosols to be carried aboard U.S. airliners.

“Today’s TSA action once again underscores the agency’s focus on searching for objects. We must move past this limited view of airline security and adapt new methods to keep the system secure. The good news for fliers, and for the airline industry, is that the experience has been made more pleasant, and for that, the TSA deserves credit.

“ALPA urges the TSA to do more to create a security screening system that effectively finds those travelers intent on doing harm, rather than the current system that seeks to remove the objects travelers frequently carry.

“With millions of passengers flying each year, no security system will catch every item, every time, especially if air travel is to remain an efficient means of transportation. If a person is bent on destruction, the number of objects that hold the potential for harm is limitless. Recognizing this, ALPA encourages the TSA to continue seeking advanced screening technologies that can fully detect explosives, regardless of form or design.

“Creating a truly secure air transportation system means the government must shift its philosophy to focus on the risk that each person poses. Rather than treating every passenger and airline pilot as a would-be terrorist, we must employ well-established methods of prescreening and behavior observation, interview persons of interest, and use technology to streamline screening for those who present little risk. Doing so will allow us to effectively use our limited resources to more closely scrutinize the passengers about whom little is known or whose behavior or background warrants a careful second look.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union representing more than 61,000 cockpit crewmembers at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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