U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, today praised the announcement that flight attendants will soon receive the same expedited airport screenings as other members of the flight crew, like pilots. Sen. Landrieu has been a strong advocate for improving the screening process for low-risk travelers -- such as flight attendants and travelers who have been prescreened under the TSA's Pre-Check program -- and included expedited screening for flights attendants in her fiscal year 2013 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. This legislation was approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on May 22, 2012.
"Flight attendants are critical members of our flight crews and provide an important layer of airline security ¬- if we cannot trust our pilots or our flight attendants, then who can we trust?" Sen. Landrieu said. "This measure will give flight attendants the same expedited screenings as pilots, speeding up the security process and allowing the TSA to focus on more pressing threats. I applaud the TSA for implementing this measure which will save time at security checkpoints while maintaining the highest level of security for the flying public."
The TSA will add flight attendants on U.S. airlines to the Known Crew Member Program, which verifies the identities of flight crew members. TSA anticipates that it may take up to 12 months for the air carriers and their service providers to fully phase in the program for flight attendants. In the interim, TSA will allow flight attendants to use Pre-Check where available.
On March 21, 2012, Sen. Landrieu held a hearing on balancing airline security and prosperity in her Subcommittee. The Senator invited a representative from the Association of Flight Attendants, who testified on the need for expedited screenings. Sen. Landrieu pressed TSA Administrator John Pistole to expand the Known Crew Member Program to include flights attendants.