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American Airlines Pilots Revolt Against the TSA

Cold Highway

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More revolts are needed against the Big Brother's latest incarnation. Big Props to Captain Dave Bates

American Airlines Pilots Revolt Against The TSA | The Daily Feed | Minyanville.com

Fellow Pilots,

In response to increased threats to civil aviation around the world, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented the use of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) body scanners at some airport locations.

While I'm sure that each of us recognizes that the threats to our lives are real, the practice of airport security screening of airline pilots has spun out of control and does nothing to improve national security. It's long past time that policymakers take the steps necessary to exempt commercial pilots from airport security screening and grant designated pilot access to SIDA utilizing either Crew Pass or biometric identification. As I recently wrote to the TSA Administrator:

"Our pilots are highly motivated partners in the effort to protect our nation's security, with many of us serving as Federal Flight Deck Officers. We are all keenly aware that we may serve as the last line of defense against another terrorist attack on commercial aviation. Rather than being viewed as potential threats, we should be treated commensurate with the authority and responsibility that we are vested with as professional pilots."

It is important to note that there are "backscatter" AIT devices now being deployed that produce ionizing radiation, which could be harmful to your health. Airline pilots in the United States already receive higher doses of radiation in their on-the-job environment than nearly every other category of worker in the United States, including nuclear power plant employees. As I also stated in my recent letter to the Administrator of the TSA:

"We are exposed to radiation every day on the job. For example, a typical Atlantic crossing during a solar flare can expose a pilot to radiation equivalent to 100 chest X-rays per hour. Requiring pilots to go through the AIT means additional radiation exposure. I share our pilots' concerns about this additional radiation exposure and plan to recommend that our pilots refrain from going through the AIT. We already experience significantly higher radiation exposure than most other occupations, and there is mounting evidence of higher-than-average cancer rates as a consequence."

It's safe to say that most of the APA leadership shares my view that no pilot at American Airlines should subject themselves to the needless privacy invasion and potential health risks caused by the AIT body scanners. I therefore recommend that the pilots of American Airlines consider the following guidelines:

Use designated crew lines if available.

Politely decline AIT exposure and request alternative screening.

There is absolutely no denying that the enhanced pat-down is a demeaning experience. In my view, it is unacceptable to submit to one in public while wearing the uniform of a professional airline pilot. I recommend that all pilots insist that such screening is performed in an out-of-view area to protect their privacy and dignity.

If screening delays your arrival at the cockpit, do not cut corners that jeopardize the safety of the flight. Consummate professionalism and safety are always paramount.

Maintain composure and professionalism at all times and recognize that you are probably being videotaped.

If you feel that you have been treated with less than courtesy, respect and professionalism, please submit an observer report to APA. Please be sure to include the time, date, security checkpoint and name of the TSA employee who performed the screening. Avoid confrontation.

Your APA Board of Directors and National Officers are holding a conference call this week to discuss these issues and further guidance may be forthcoming.

While I cannot promise results tomorrow, I pledge to dedicate APA resources in the days and weeks to come to achieve direct access to SIDA for the pilots of American Airlines. In the meantime, I am confident that you will continue to exhibit your usual utmost professionalism as you safely operate and protect our nation's air transport system.
 

Gray_Fox_86

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Too bad that pilot did not understand what body scans are for. Like you did not understand as well. They scan everyone for not only explosives but for drugs as well. Because those scans can spot when a person is hiding drugs, explosives, etc. It makes sense to scan people who fly constantly and you never know. A pilot may be trafficking drugs on him or her because they have special privileges that others do not. Therefore, they should not be exempt from body scans.
 

Gray_Fox_86

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Too bad that pilot did not understand what body scans are for. Like you did not understand as well. They scan everyone for not only explosives but for drugs as well. Because those scans can spot when a person is hiding drugs, explosives, etc. It makes sense to scan people who fly constantly and you never know. A pilot may be trafficking drugs on him or her because they have special privileges that others do not. Therefore, they should not be exempt from body scans.

I should probably add this. But they scan everyone who is suspicious. And that should not matter whether one is a pilot or not. Due to stated reason above.
 

Deuce

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Too bad that pilot did not understand what body scans are for. Like you did not understand as well. They scan everyone for not only explosives but for drugs as well. Because those scans can spot when a person is hiding drugs, explosives, etc. It makes sense to scan people who fly constantly and you never know. A pilot may be trafficking drugs on him or her because they have special privileges that others do not. Therefore, they should not be exempt from body scans.

What the hell would an airline pilot want explosives for? He already has a far larger weapon than anything he could carry on his person. Since you seem to be a bit on the paranoid side, I'll give you some food for thought next time you fly:

Your pilot can kill you and everyone else on board at any time of his choosing, and there is absolutely no chance that you can do anything about it.

I should probably add this. But they scan everyone who is suspicious. And that should not matter whether one is a pilot or not. Due to stated reason above.

If you're suspicious of your pilot, you probably should choose another form of travel.
 
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RightinNYC

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Too bad that pilot did not understand what body scans are for. Like you did not understand as well. They scan everyone for not only explosives but for drugs as well. Because those scans can spot when a person is hiding drugs, explosives, etc. It makes sense to scan people who fly constantly and you never know. A pilot may be trafficking drugs on him or her because they have special privileges that others do not. Therefore, they should not be exempt from body scans.

So you admit that this has nothing to do with national security?

If this is really about drugs, it would be much cheaper and quicker to just hire drug sniffing dogs.
 

Travelsonic

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Too bad that pilot did not understand what body scans are for. Like you did not understand as well.

[citation needed]


Because those scans can spot when a person is hiding drugs, explosives, etc.

No they can't. In fact, recent tests prove that they can't spot drugs and explosives under certain clothes, flaps of skin, etc.

Therefore, they should not be exempt from body scans.

Uh... body scanning is OPTIONAL for pilot and passenger alike.

The choice, last I checked, was body scan OR patdown OR not flying.


And why the hell would anybody think it OK for non-law enforcement to be able to see naked x-rays, non-cop, non-medical professional when not only are medical professionals restricted and trained properly, but cops can't do strip searches - physical or digital - barring very very [very] strictly controlled, limited circumstances?
 
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