TSA to Shutter ‘Known Crew Member’ Airport Security Checkpoint Program

By Kurt Stolz on 1 December 2022
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TSA PreCheck security checkpoint at LaGuardia

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration is reportedly preparing to end its Known Crew Member, or KCM, program.

The program was put into place in 2011 as a joint initiative between Airlines for America, an industry trade association, and the Air Line Pilots Association, a union representing pilots from multiple airlines, along with the TSA, in order to expedite security screenings at checkpoints for crewmembers.

Crewmembers have already undergone extensive security vetting that meets the requirements of the risk-based program.

Multiple high-profile incidents have pointed out the obvious flaws in the system, however.  Just last month, an off-duty Mesa Airlines flight attendant tried to smuggle over three pounds (1.4 kg) of fentanyl, which was wrapped around her abdomen, through a KCM checkpoint at San Diego International Airport.

The TSA will likely shut down the Known Crew Member program at some point in 2023 and replace it with a program that reportedly will be called Expedited Crew Access and that will more resemble TSA PreCheck than the current KCM program.

Last week, the agency took pains to remind airlines that participate in the program that its employees “[A]re not allowed to carry property belonging to other individuals” through a KCM Access Point, “must not be in possession of any TSA-prohibited items” such as weapons, and cannot use the checkpoint “if any portion of their travel itinerary includes personal travel.”

The opt-in program had cleared 100 million crew members by 2018.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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