U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today applauded the passage of the Helping Heroes Fly Act, their bipartisan bill to improve the airport screening process for wounded and severely disabled service members and veterans. The legislation now heads to the President for his signature.
"I'm pleased Congress was able to come together and ensure our nation's heroes are treated with dignity and respect," Pryor said. "I want to thank Representative Gabbard for her leadership, and Senator Ayotte for her collaboration on moving this bill through the legislative process."
"America's wounded and disabled service members are heroes -- and they should be treated as such," said Senator Ayotte. "Our bill will help improve their experience at airport security checkpoints by ensuring screeners have proper training, addressing privacy concerns, and encouraging better communication with advocacy groups."
The Helping Heroes Fly Act builds on the success of the Wounded Warrior/Military Severely Injured Joint Services Operation Center Program (MSIJSOC), which was created by the Transportation Security Administration in 2005 to ensure wounded warriors receive a specialized and dignified screening process. It also makes improvements to the program by requiring the TSA to take into account privacy preferences, provide training to all screeners, and improve communications with advocacy organizations. Finally, it mandates that TSA report to Congress on its progress in implementing the screening program. U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.