Markey and Lynch Had Urged TSA to Select Logan for Employee Screening Pilot Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has selected Boston’s Logan International Airport as one of seven sites across the country where TSA will test an employee screening program, a move Representatives Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) had advocated in the fall of 2007. Rep. Markey, a senior member of the House Homeland Committee, is a longtime advocate of screening all employees working at airports and introduced comprehensive aviation security legislation in 2004 that included a requirement that all airport employees be screened for dangerous items.

Rep. Markey said, "I have long believed that failure to screen airport employees opens a dangerous loophole in airport security that terrorists or criminals could exploit. While TSA has implemented many measures to secure the airport's front door, it also must ensure that the back door is tightly controlled to protect against attacks. Just as all passengers, pilots and flight attendants are now screened before entering sensitive areas of airports, all employees also should be screened. Massport recently operated its own employee-screening process, and TSA made the right choice in including Logan in this program.  I look forward to working with TSA as it takes steps to expand and improve airport employee screening policies and procedures at all airports around the country."

Rep. Lynch said, "I think it makes sense to continually reassess our security measures. Let's face it, it is clear that in the terrorist threat we face an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is to attack innocent civilians. There are no norms of human behavior or rules of decency that apply. We simply have to be smarter and more determined to protect our citizens and this is one more important step in that effort."

TSA currently deploys a layered approach to airport employee security that includes random and roving screening, checkpoint screening for certain populations and "surge" inspections, but no mandate that all airport employees be screened. Logan Airport will host a 90-day pilot screening program that will include 100 percent employee and vehicle screening at airport perimeter entrances and the use of biometric access control.

The letter Reps. Markey and Lynch sent to TSA in October of 2007 encouraging the selection of Logan Airport as the site for testing an employee screening program is available HERE.

February 12, 2008

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836