ATA concern at biometric planning

2nd Jul 2007

The Air Transport Association has testified before
a U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on
Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism on the U.S. Visitor and
Immigrant Status Indicator Technology - (US-VISIT) Exit - a program to collect biometric information from
non-U.S. citizens departing from the United States. Airlines support the US-VISIT Exit program and want to assist
collaboratively in its effective implementation, just as we did with the
development of US-VISIT Entry.  The Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) needs to reconsider its plan to simply reassign its responsibility
to collect biometric data to the airlines.

“DHS and its counterparts are responsible for this country’s national
security and immigration programs, and should not unload this
responsibility on private corporations because it fits their ‘business
plan,’” said ATA President and CEO James C. May.  “Congress has made it
abundantly clear - six legislative mandates since 1996 - that it wants
the federal government to implement entry and exit control programs.” 


“If, as DHS proposes, passengers are required to check in at ticket
counters and airlines are required to collect biometrics during the
check-in process, then efficient, off-airport passenger check in will
disappear, to be replaced by lines of frustrated passengers - airlines
are working to shorten and eliminate lines, not add them,” May
continued. “Quite frankly, the simplest solution is to collect
biometrics at the TSA checkpoint.”


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