Known Crewmember Q&As

Known Crewmember Q&As

Known Crewmember (KCM) is a new screening system that enables Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security officers to positively verify the identity and employment status of flight crew members.

Q. What is the intent of Known Crewmember (KCM)?

A. KCM is designed to confirm an airline flight-crew member’s identity and current employment status, expedite their access to sterile areas of airports, reduce backlogs, increase throughput at passenger-screening checkpoints, and make more efficient use of TSA screening resources. It also is intended to enhance security for the traveling public and the airline industry. All of these benefits provide a win-win result for the security of the traveling public and efficiencies for airlines and their employees.


Q. How does KCM differ from CrewPASS?

A. CrewPASS is operated by a third-party IT provider while KCM is operated jointly by ALPA and the ATA, with TSA oversight. KCM also uses the latest, most cost- effective technology to link all participating airlines.


Q. Will KCM actually improve security?

A. YES. Professional airline crew members have successfully passed in-depth pre- employment background investigations; they have been subjected to fingerprint- based criminal-history record checks, and are the most highly screened employee group in the aviation industry. Furthermore, crew members are on the frontline of our nation’s aviation security effort, not a threat to it. KCM recognizes those facts by providing crew members with a technologically modern and highly efficient alternative to the traditional airport security-screening process.


Q. Does KCM permit flight-deck crewmembers to “bypass” screening?

A. No. KCM provides an alternative form of screening to the traditional checkpoint model. KCM participants are screened separately and differently from passengers because of their established background credentials, TSA-recognized trustworthiness, and responsibilities.


Q. How will airports be identified for KCM implementation?

A. ALPA, the ATA, and the TSA will collaborate on which airports are the best candidates for the proof-of-concept period and the selection and prioritization of airport installations thereafter. A number of variables will determine whether a particular airport is equipped with one or more KCM access points.


Q. What are the long-term goals for KCM?

A. Nationwide implementation of the system as quickly as practical.


Q. What should I expect when using a KCM access point?

A. Expect to enter the sterile area of an airport via an alternative access portal, which may be separate from the security-screening lanes. You must be in uniform and will be met by a screener who will ask for both your company identification and a TSA-accepted form of photo ID such as a passport or driver’s license. The transportation security officer (i.e., screener) will match the identification to your appearance and confirm your identity and current employment status via the KCM system. Once these tasks are successfully completed, you will be allowed to proceed into the sterile area, normally with no other screening or inspection of your person or accessible property. It is possible, however, that you and your accessible property items may be selected for random physical screening. Random screening is built in as a check and balance to ensure the integrity of the KCM system. In the future, a biometric reading (e.g., a fingerprint) may also be required at the access point. Crew members are asked to help expedite the access process by being ready to present both forms of identification to the screener and helping them to locate the employee number on your airline ID card.


Q. How long will this process take?

A. Under normal circumstances, a typical KCM transaction should require about 10 to 15 seconds. The time required to complete the process is contingent on a number of factors, such as the speed at which the system responds, or the presence and length of a queue, as other crew members may be waiting to be processed.


Q. Does KCM mean that I will never be screened in the traditional checkpoint fashion when passing through a KCM access point?

A. No. Crew members may be directed to passenger-screening lines as part of a random screening-selection process, or whenever the KCM access point is not operational. Should the KCM access point become inoperative, TSA security officers will direct crew members through passenger-screening checkpoints.


Q. What should I do if I am selected for random screening at a KCM access point?

A. Cooperate. Random screening is a normal feature of any alternative form of screening. It is incorporated for your protection and to ensure the integrity of the system.


Q. Does using KCM preclude any chance that I may be selected for additional screening after I successfully transit an access point and proceed into the sterile area of an airport?

A. No. All air-carrier employees are subject to TSA screening practices conducted within sterile areas, which include roving screening teams, random gate screening, and questioning by behavioral detection officers (BDOs). KCM does not exempt a crew member from complying with these additional screening techniques.


Q. Will my carry-on items be inspected when I proceed through a KCM access point?

A. No, unless you are selected for random, passenger-style screening, in which case, both you and your carry-on items will be screened via traditional checkpoint screening protocols.


Q. Am I permitted to escort anyone with me through a KCM access point?

A. No. Every person who attempts to enter the sterile area of an airport via a KCM access point must be cleared individually by a screening officer.


Q. Am I permitted to transport additional carry-on items that are not my own through a KCM access point?

A. No. Crew members are permitted to bring only their personal carry-on items through a KCM access point. You may not transport carry-on items that are not your own when entering an airport sterile area via KCM.


Q. What should I do if the TSA cannot validate my identity and employment status at the KCM access point?

A. If the TSA cannot confirm your identity or current employment status at the KCM access point, you will be directed to the passenger-screening checkpoint in order to access the sterile area. Please follow TSA instructions and do not attempt to resolve the issue with transportation security officers, as they are unable to rectify system failures or denials. A KCM denial could result from a database error that is nonspecific to you, or it might involve a miscommunication with your air carrier. If you believe that a KCM denial occurred relative to your employment status, please enter the sterile area as directed via the passenger-screening checkpoint and, when time permits, ask your MEC security chairperson for assistance in rectifying the situation with your carrier.


Q. Does KCM change any other TSA regulations regarding when and what types of items I may carry onboard an aircraft?

A. No. You are subject to all existing uniformed crew member regulations regarding the types of items that may be carried onboard an aircraft. KCM does not provide any other exemptions or privileges regarding the items that you carry, other than those already articulated in TSA regulations.