06:47 AM

DFW Airport Commends Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's Support Of Deadline Flexibility For TSA

Commerce Committee's Vote Will Alleviate Massive Lines For Air Travelers On December 31

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas (September 19, 2002) – Long lines to check bags, mass disruption of the nation’s aviation system and further damage to the U.S. economy may have now been avoided following today’s vote by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

The new legislation gives the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) greater flexibility in meeting the 12/31/02 bag screening deadline at 40 still-to-be-named airports across America.

The key amendment, offered by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) as part of S. 2949, the Aviation Security Improvement Act, allows the TSA to extended the bag screening deadline up to 12 months at 40 of the nation’s major airports. The additional time allows the TSA at each airport to thoroughly finish the job of implementing 100% checked bag screening.

“Senator Hutchison has always been a strong supporter of our nation’s aviation system and her leadership action today demonstrates her deep knowledge of the issues and her strong commitment to keeping our system on track and on the rebound from September 11,” says Jeff Fegan, CEO at DFW Airport. “Senator Hutchison has also made a number of other key initiatives designed to further enhance security, and her latest proposal is not only an important decision for the 55 million passengers who use DFW every year, but for millions of travelers at airports across the country.”

DFW Airport and 135 other airports formed an airport alliance and petitioned the U.S. Senate in August to grant TSA a reasonable deadline extension and relieve passengers of waits up to three to four hours long to simply check a bag. The committee's vote still needs the approval of the full Senate. The U.S. House passed similar legislation as part of its vote on the Homeland Security Bill earlier this summer. Airports are optimistic that the full Senate will pass this legislation and reconcile language with the House version.

“What airports want to do in conjunction with the TSA is do the job right the first time, save millions of taxpayer dollars and relieve passengers of their strongly perceived 'hassle factor' when they fly,” says Kevin Cox, senior executive vice president at DFW. “Senator Hutchison’s action means the TSA will have the opportunity to create the proper balance of security and customer service without massive disruptions to the system.”

Located halfway between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW International Airport is the world's third busiest, offering nearly 2000 flights per day and serving 55 million passengers a year. DFW International Airport provides non-stop service to 130 domestic and 30 international destinations worldwide.

Editor's Notes: This release, and past news releases issued by DFW International Airport, are available online at www.dfwairport.com in the “Media Site” section.

For the latest news, real-time flight information, parking availability or further details regarding the many services provided at DFW International Airport log on to www.dfwairport.com. To arrange interviews contact DFW Public Affairs at 972 574 NEWS (6397) or Ken Capps, APR, Vice President Public Affairs, kcapps@dfwairport.com.