TSA Identified Crewmember Program: Safety Threat?

Do you know that many flight attendants and pilots don’t must clear safety at US airports? Possibly you probably did, or possibly you didn’t, however I assumed it might be an fascinating subject to debate, particularly in mild of some latest incidents that we’ve seen.

What’s the TSA Identified Crewmember program?

The Identified Crewmember program (typically abbreviated KCM) permits choose airline pilots and flight attendants to enter the sterile space of the airport with out going by the usual safety screening course of.

The present iteration of the KCM program has been round since 2011. This system is a joint initiative between the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), airline lobbying group Airways for America (A4A), and the Air Line Pilots Affiliation (ALPA).

You would possibly see a Identified Crewmember checkpoint close to the exit to the TSA checkpoint, as those that are registered simply must current their airline ID and authorities issued ID, after which can stroll proper into the terminal by the exit. You may also discover that pilots and flight attendants have little badges that they typically put on, which determine them as such.

Identified Crewmember credentials

A number of additional issues to notice about TSA’s Identified Crewmember program:

  • Pilots and flight attendants at eligible US airways must particularly opt-in to this program, so this isn’t one thing that airline workers mechanically get
  • Pilots and flight attendants have to be in uniform to make use of Identified Crewmember checkpoints
  • Pilots and flight attendants don’t must be touring for work to make use of the checkpoints, so long as they’re in uniform
  • There are Unpredictable Screening Procedures (USP) in place, whereby these utilizing the Identified Crewmember checkpoint could also be topic to a random safety screening; nevertheless, this solely occurs a really small proportion of the time
  • The logic of this system is that airline workers ought to be trusted, and that it alleviates crowding at safety checkpoints in any other case; so long as an worker’s id could be verified, that’s what’s most vital with this course of

Ought to airline workers must undergo safety?

It’s fascinating to see how completely different folks react to understanding that pilots and flight attendants don’t must undergo safety at airports. I see either side of the argument.

On the one hand, pilots and flight attendants preserve the air transportation system operating, so we must always be capable to belief that they’ll make the precise selection with what they create onboard. Moreover, assessments have proven how ineffective the TSA is at stopping weapons, and airport safety screening is in the end about threat evaluation. Presumably Identified Crewmembers are among the many lowest threat folks passing by airports.

Alternatively, we’ve seen quite a lot of incidents over time the place workers abused the Identified Crewmember idea. We’ve even seen some latest tales of off-duty flight attendants working as drug smugglers, and utilizing their Identified Crewmember credentials to keep away from safety.

Remember these instances solely come up within the very small p.c of conditions the place an airline worker is randomly chosen for a screening. I can’t even think about how many individuals get away with it. Neglect weapons and every thing else, however I think there’s a not-insignificant variety of airline workers smuggling medication by Identified Crewmember checkpoints.

Ought to airline workers must undergo safety?

Is it time for some Identified Crewmember restrictions?

If there have been modifications to be made to the Identified Crewmember program, then it looks as if there are two completely different instructions one may go.

One course can be to proceed to permit pilots to make use of Identified Crewmember checkpoints, however not flight attendants. This isn’t in any respect supposed to be destructive towards flight attendants, however the actuality is that pilots have much more to lose than flight attendants.

Pilots spend years and probably lots of of hundreds of {dollars} in an effort to land their job, and are very nicely paid. They work on a seniority system, and in the event that they have been ever caught with something, they might have their license revoked, and their flying profession can be over. They wouldn’t simply be capable to get a comparable job in one other business.

There are in fact a lot of profession flight attendants on the market, however there are additionally new flight attendants with no expertise, who aren’t very nicely paid, and who simply need a enjoyable job for a few years. In the event that they lose their job as a flight attendant, there are every kind of different jobs on the market that pay equally.

I feel the second course could possibly be to limit the Identified Crewmember program to those that have been at an airline for a sure variety of years. For instance, should you’ve been at an airline for a decade, you’ve proven your dedication to your profession, and that you just’re not simply there quickly.

I’m simply throwing these items out right here, and never suggesting any of those ought to be applied. However with a number of latest tales of flight attendants attempting to smuggle medication, it looks as if it’s at the very least price contemplating some type of restrictions.

Ought to pilots get particular TSA privileges?

Backside line

Many individuals are stunned to be taught that pilots and flight attendants can bypass safety checkpoints at airports, because of the Identified Crewmember program. I don’t have a robust opinion on this a technique or one other, although it does seem to be there are an growing variety of tales of flight attendants being caught smuggling medication.

The Identified Crewmember checkpoint is the right manner to do that, as you don’t must undergo safety screening. A small proportion of the time passengers might be chosen for extra screening, however that’s uncommon, and it’s why folks take the danger.

What’s your tackle the TSA’s Identified Crewmember program? Ought to airline workers must clear safety?

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