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Senate Unanimously Adopts Senator Blunt’s Plan to Ensure Airports Can Participate In TSA Screening Opt-Out Program

February 16, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Working with his colleagues from both sides of the aisle, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) passed his first amendment in the U.S. Senate tonight, ensuring that the Springfield-Branson National Airport and other airports nationwide can choose the screening process that best meets their needs while maintaining security.

Blunt’s amendment – which was unanimously adopted into the FAA Reauthorization Bill by voice vote – ensures that all airports that were pending for the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Screening Partnership Program between Jan 1, 2011 and Feb 3, 2011 are reconsidered and approved for this program within 30 days.

“The bipartisan passage of this amendment is an important step in the right direction, and I will continue to work during the conference process to ensure that Springfield and other airports across the country have the flexibility to determine the best course of action for their individual security needs,” said Blunt.

Blunt’s amendment also prohibits TSA from rejecting these or any airports from the opt-out program without providing a case-specific explanation that describes the reasoning for the denial to the congressional committees of jurisdiction within 30 days. 

In all instances, TSA will continue to maintain control over the contracts and will manage the contracting process, and above all, the highest federal security standards will continue to be met at these and all airports nationwide.

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