By Keith Laing - 07/23/12 08:56 PM EDT
The expansion to flight attendants was cheered by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union.
"Flight attendants are first responders and the last line of defense in aviation security,” AFA-CWA President Veda Shook said in a statement. "We applaud TSA and the Department of Homeland Security for implementing risk-based security that strengthens our network and allows us to focus on real threats.
"Known Crewmember recognizes our integral role in keeping U.S. aviation safe," Shook continued. "We will be working closely with the agency and our airlines to put the program into practice.”
The Euless, Texas-based Association of Professional Flights Attendants agreed.
“Flight crews, and flight attendants in particular, are the trusted first responders responsible for protecting the flying public," APFA President Laura Glading said in a statement. "TSA’s decision recognizes this fact while promoting increased efficiency in our industry and I applaud it."
Airlines for America President Nicholas Calio added that the announcement was good for airline companies too.
“A4A has long advocated that as safety professionals, flight attendants should be included in the Known Crewmember program," he said. "We are pleased to continue to partner with TSA on this risk-based screening system that improves safety, security and efficiency, benefiting both passengers and crew members."
TSA said the expedited screening would likely be made available to flight attendants by the fall.