TSA Commits to Action on CrewPASS
True to a commitment made at the March 2 meeting, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today officially informed ALPA and ARINC that the agency has extended the CrewPASS program to July 17, 2009, and “strongly supports your efforts to begin testing the biometric element of CrewPASS.” The agency also stated that it is “committed to partnering with ALPA on the proposal to expand CrewPASS to other locations across the system,” in compliance with future standards. ALPA is cautiously optimistic that some light may now be visible at the end of the CrewPASS tunnel.
On March 2, ALPA strongly urged the TSA, to take expedited action on CrewPASS before a potential March 17, 2009 end-of-the-current-demonstration program. TSA had not formally endorsed adding a biometric capability to this program as it informed ALPA that it would do last November. Joining ALPA in sending the recommendations to the TSA was ARINC, the CrewPASS contractor. Together we called on the agency to:
Transition CrewPASS into a pre-operational exercise for an additional four months (to July 17, 2009), in compliance with the new CrewPASS standards, at one or more of the three current demonstration airports (i.e., BWI, PIT and CAE);
Immediately issue the CrewPASS standards that ARINC needs to enhance the system with biometrics and, ultimately, add flight attendants as participants;
Pending the successful conclusion of this pre-operational exercise, establish and recognize CrewPASS as a standing, permanent program under the oversight of TSA and assist in implementing it throughout the United States.