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Newsflash from ALPA International

TSA Reconfirms Commitment to FFDO Program
March 17, 2009
In stark contrast to an op-ed article in today’s edition (March 17, 2009) of the Washington Times, that claims “…President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology,” TSA officials reassured ALPA they are committed to the FFDO program and have plans for its expansion.

TSA’s leadership immediately contacted ALPA and requested a meeting to discuss this news report. ALPA representatives met with TSA executives this afternoon and were told that TSA embraces the FFDO program, that there are no plans to reduce or restrict its growth, and that the agency fully intends to grow and expand the program.

Government representatives acknowledged that the program needs additional funding to achieve these goals, and that they are actively pursuing sources of additional funding. These funds will be used to enhance the program’s management structure and oversight, which if implemented, will address an ALPA Board of Directors security priority.

TSA is currently training hundreds of pilots each year and plans to continue to train at least that number or more into the future. The size of the FFDO cadre has grown so large that additional resources are needed to provide greater structure and oversight to this important program, which TSA referred to today as “an important layer of defense.”

“ALPA is very pleased that the TSA was so proactive in communicating its concerns to the Association and we are likewise pleased that we are able to report this good news to the membership,” said ALPA President, Capt. John Prater. “ALPA values its relationship with the TSA, and it is obvious from the way the agency handled this event that the feeling is mutual.”

Stay tuned.

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