Friday, September 1, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement by APFA National President
Representing Flight Attendants at American Airlines on
TSA’s “Ill-Conceived” Decision to Allow Shoppers Through Airline Security at Pittsburgh’s Airport
Below is a statement from APFA National President Bob Ross on the TSA decision to allow the Pittsburgh International Airport to provide access for non-flyers to Airside Terminal gates, shops and restaurants beginning Sept. 5. APFA has sent letters to Secretary of Transportation Elaine, Chao, Secretary of Homeland Security (Acting) Elaine C. Duke, and the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration David P. Pekoske, objecting to this change in security protocols.
Allowing the non-flying public to go through security at the Pittsburgh International Airport for the sole purpose of shopping is a terrible precedent and an ill-conceived decision.
Flight attendants are the last line of defense on an aircraft and as first responders, we know this move by TSA is a bad idea that needs to be reversed. Aviation security relies on a layered approach where if terrorists breech a layer, second and third layers come into play to protect us. Letting our guard down in Pittsburgh or any other airport for the benefit of retailers is not the right approach to airline safety and security.
Beyond security concerns, having shoppers clog already frustratingly long TSA security lines will lead to flight delays and more passengers missing flights, especially during the busy holiday season.
Personally, I’m stunned by the timing of this decision. Days prior to the anniversary of 9-11 is when we should be reminding the public of the need to remain vigilant—not sending the message that the airport is no different than their local mall.
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