Thursday, June 4, 2009

TSA Authorization Passes House of Representatives With Important Flight Attendant Security Provisions

/PRNewswire / -- The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) today hailed the United States House of Representatives for passing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Authorization -- with flight attendant security training included -- by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 397 - 25. The bill, H.R. 2200 authorizes flight attendants to complete no less than five hours of hands-on self defense security training every two years. Currently, comprehensive flight attendant self defense training is strictly voluntary.

"Since the day after 9-11, AFA-CWA has demanded enhanced security and self defense training in order to provide flight attendants with the effective tools needed to increase safety and security onboard the aircraft," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. "Over the past seven years, the federal government has focused on cockpit security, but little has been done to protect flight attendants. This self defense language, if enacted into law, will finally provide all flight attendants with the training to protect themselves and the traveling public.

The TSA Authorization also calls for a study of wireless communication devices that can be used by flight attendants to discreetly communicate among flight crew. The study will evaluate current technology available and assess which would benefit flight attendants the most.

"The current, voluntary self defense training provides a decent foundation, but it is important that all flight attendants are equipped with the knowledge and experience to protect themselves, as well as the integrity of the cabin. A flight attendant should not have to worry whether their flying partners have had the same training, should a situation arise. By incorporating this self defense training and other existing security training programs as part of flight attendant recurrent training, flight attendants will further enhance their role as safety and security professionals," said Friend.

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