Blog

 
     

TSA Expands Background Checks for Airline and Airport Employees

By Michael Klazema on 4/27/2015

The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, is expanding background check requirements for airline employees and airport workers, following an incident in December when a baggage handler in Atlanta, Georgia was arrested for allegedly smuggling firearms aboard commercial flights. The case forced a 90-day review of security policies, ordered by the Department of Homeland Security. Now, as a result of that review, the TSA is officially implementing new background check rules for the aviation industry.

According to a report about the new measures from the Associated Press, the TSA will now be running "real-time, recurring background checks for aviation workers, including airline workers." It's unclear precisely what those "real-time checks" will entail, or how often airline employees will have to pass them in order to continue working aboard commercial flights. Slightly clearer is the new requirement that will require certain airport employees to complete and pass a fingerprint-based criminal history check every two years. This policy, for the time being at least, will only apply to "airport employees who hold Secure Identification Display Area badges." SIDA badges are required to access the most secure areas of any airport facility, including runways, boarding gates, baggage loading areas, and taxiways, according to the USA Today.

Lastly, the new security measures will require all airport and airline workers to go through standard TSA screenings before being allowed to travel as passengers themselves. No one will be allowed to bypass security, or receive special treatment that could allow for potential security breaches.

The Department of Homeland Security hopes that these new measures will help to patch up holes in the system and prevent potential insider threats. Following last year's gun smuggling case in Georgia, the TSA was criticized for focusing very heavily on the screening and monitoring of passengers, but being comparatively lax when it came to screening airline or airport employees. These new measures will help to repair that disconnect, and will hopefully make air travel safer for all involved.

Recurring background checks, of course, are a smart idea in any scenario. A background check only gives a snapshot of a person's criminal history at the specific time at which the check was administered. It makes sense to periodically update that snapshot in order to make sure that employees are still safe and trustworthy. Requiring additional ultra-thorough checks for employees with access to secure airport areas is also a very good idea, and should help to prevent a case like the Atlanta gun smuggling incident from happening again in the future.

Source: http://traveltips.usatoday.com/sida-badge-requirements-100430.html

http://skift.com/2015/04/20/tsa-to-add-recurring-background-checks-for-airline-and-airport-workers/


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 California’s biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 20 The #MeToo movement is bringing about legislative changes employers need to know about. We review some of the laws recently passed in California.
  • November 19

    Will a criminal conviction show up on your background check forever? In most states, there is a year limit for how long background check companies can report older criminal information.


  • November 15

    Replacing an inconsistent array of procedures, Ontario's government has passed into law a reform act intended to clarify how police departments should handle requests for information to be used in background checks. 


  • November 14 The federal government has vowed to cut its backlog of security clearance background checks in half by spring. Currently, the backlog is approximately 600,000 names strong.
  • November 12 To ensure the best hires, DFWSPF has implemented a stringent employee screening process—one that includes background searches through backgroundchecks.com.