TSA Plans for CrewPASS Demonstration Project
ALPA meets with TSA

March 31, 2008 - The full-page ad in USAToday and CrewPASS informational picketing last week at DCA and TSA Headquarters appear to have had a positive effect.

Capt. Prater received a phone call from John P. Sammon, Assistant Administrator, Transportation Sector Network Management (TSNM), TSA, earlier this week to talk about the next steps towards development of CrewPASS, an ALPA-conceived proposal that would expand upon TSA’s successful CASS program to expedite pilots through security checkpoints. Sammon called at the direction of Kip Hawley, TSA Administrator.

During the call, Sammon informed Prater that a former airline pilot, who now works for TSA as a Federal Security Director, has been identified as the CrewPASS point of contact and will develop a concept of operations plan for CrewPASS. ALPA’s National Security Committee Chairman, Capt. Bob Hesselbein (NWA) and staff met with TSNM group representatives today at TSA’s invitation to discuss that plan’s development. Capt. Hesselbein made it clear that ALPA wants CrewPASS to be developed expeditiously and that the Association is willing to partner with the TSA to help make a demonstration project a reality in the near term.

TSA representatives verbally agreed to ALPA’s offer of partnership and noted that the agency’s highest levels are now engaged in the project, and that it is moving quickly within the TSA. A CrewPASS demonstration program may begin possibly in the next several months depending on the equipment and procedures used for it. ALPA met with ChoicePoint, a TSA contractor, and ARINC, the airline’s CASS program contractor, earlier this week to discuss the potential use of a biometric reader component to CrewPASS for additional security and efficiency.

ALPA informed TSA that it intends to frequently update its membership on the progress being made on the CrewPASS initiative, or lack of same if that is the case. Although ALPA is cautiously optimistic that today’s meeting signals the first steps of the implementation of the long-awaited CrewPASS system, Capt. Prater remains determined to keep pressure on the federal government to ensure that ALPA’s goals are met in a timely fashion. ALPA has issued a Call to Action to all its pilots and recommends that they help generate maximum pressure on the TSA to implement CrewPASS through their elected representatives. Stay tuned.