The travel industry’s collective voice was on full display as a bipartisan, long-term Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) renewal bill passed earlier this week. U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman called enactment of the legislation “a big step toward vastly improving the travel experience.”

Measures in the bill will address delays and cancellations and other travel hassles by modernizing air traffic control technology, boosting the air traffic control workforce, and investing in additional improvements to our nation’s airports and air travel system.

U.S. Travel was instrumental in defeating a harmful amendment proposed to the FAA bill that threatened to prevent the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from using and expanding most automated facial recognition technology at airport checkpoints in the U.S. 

This amendment would have undermined national security and slowed checkpoint screening – resulting in travelers waiting an additional 120 million hours in TSA lines each year by significantly slowing both TSA PreCheck and standard screening lanes.

Defeating the amendment was the result of aggressive lobbying, media, and grassroots advocacy from U.S. Travel, our members and the broader aviation community. 

On May 2, Tori Barnes, U.S. Travel’s executive vice president of public affairs and policy, told Skift, “We see this as a very dangerous bill that would undermine aviation security, delay millions of flyers, and set TSA passenger screening back decades. Frankly, biometrics is the future of air travel screening.”

U.S. Travel will continue its work to educate members of Congress on the benefits of expanded facial recognition technology—with the goal of ensuring provisions like the amendment by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) don't threaten progress.

In This The Itinerary
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the U.S. travel industry—a key contributor to America’s economic success. Our mission is to increase travel to and within the United States, and in doing... View Profile ›

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