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NBTA testifies in Senate hearing

Bill Connors of the National Business Travel Association has testified before a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation regarding the aviation security programs Secure Flight and Registered Traveler.Connors outlined the priorities of the corporate travel industry for each of these programs:
Registered Traveler - With regard to Registered Traveler, a program currently under development by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to offer expedited screening for passengers who volunteer to participate, Connors said, “The Registered Traveler program is a good example of how smart risk management can both enhance the airport experience and allow greater focus on finding potential bad guys. Registered Traveler will allow TSA and law enforcement to search a smaller haystack, while moving people more efficiently through our airports.”
Connors said that NBTA, which has been a leading proponent of Registered Traveler for four years, would continue to support the program provided it meets four requirements:
—Registered Traveler is completely voluntary
—Registered Traveler provides time-savings at the airport for participants and does not slow security for non-participants
—Registered Traveler offers interoperability between participating airports
—The privacy of Registered Traveler participants is protected
NBTA requested an opportunity to follow up with the committee in three months time. Stevens indicated the committee would meet again in May to discuss the progress of the program.
Secure Flight - Secure Flight is a program under development that would replace the current CAPPS program for pre-screening all air travel passengers. Connors voiced the corporate travel community’s support for strong security, and listed three recommendations for the Secure Flight program:
—Secure Flight must comply with the operational and privacy standards listed by Congress and reported in the General Accountability Office (GAO) report of March 2005
—Secure Flight must provide a rapid, simple process for passenger redress for those improperly included on no-fly lists.
—TSA should take into consideration the impact on businesses of any changes to policies regarding collection of air travel reservations data.