TSA agrees to allow airline pilots to skip security scanning and pat-downs, pilot groups say
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Transportation Security Administration has agreed to let airline pilots skip the security scanning and pat-downs that passengers face at the nation’s airports, pilot groups said Friday.
Beginning Friday, pilots traveling in uniform or on airline business will be allowed to pass security by presenting two photo IDs, one from their company and one from the government, to be checked against a secure flight crew database, the TSA said.
The Obama administration’s retreat on screening pilots comes less than a week before the hectic Thanksgiving holiday travel period. Some travelers are threatening to protest the security measures by refusing to go through the scanning machines. Airlines are caught in the middle.
Pilots welcomed the changes.
“This looks good. It’s basically what we’ve been after for 10 years,” says Sam Mayer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association at American Airlines, the union that raised objections to the new screening process about two weeks ago. “Pilots are not the threat here; we’re the target.”