Use Caution When Asking to Withdraw from Screening

ALPA recently learned that, contrary to TSA policy, some security screeners may not allow a pilot to withdraw from the security checkpoint once the process has begun. To preclude any problems, pilots are advised to exercise caution and discretion when asking to withdraw from security screening after the screening process begins.

The Airline Pilotís Guide to the Security Screening Checkpoint, published by the ALPA National Security Committee in cooperation with the FAA and revised in December 2001, advised, on page 6, "If a screener does not follow proper procedures as outlined in this document, take the following steps:

1. "Ask for the CSS [Checkpoint Security Supervisor]. Explain the situation and why you think it is improper. If an agreeable solution cannot be found, write down the supervisorís name.

2. "Ask for the GSC [Ground Security Coordinator] assigned to that screening station (the GSC may not be employed by your company). Again, explain the situation. If the GSC cannot find an acceptable solution, write down his/her name, and

3. "Advise the CSS and/or GSC that you are withdrawing from screening." (This section goes on to explain, "You have the right to withdraw from screening of yourself or hand-carried items AT ANY TIME, unless a suspicious item or activity is identified." The section includes more details on how to withdraw from screening.)

If you think that the screening procedures are not being followed properly, you should follow these steps as outlined in the Guide, but before asking to withdraw from screening, ensure that the GSC, CSS, or law enforcement officers do not object. After the event, contact your MEC Security Coordinator and/or call the ALPA 24-hour toll-free air safety reporting line, 1-800-424-2470.

No GSC will be assigned to a checkpoint that a TSA federal security screener is operating.