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Rep. Rosendale Calls on TSA to Rescind Amendment Requiring Montana Airports to Bear the Financial Burden of Increased Employee Screening

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday, Congressman Matt Rosendale (MT-02) sent a letter to TSA Administrator David Pekoske demanding his Agency retract their Airport Security Program National Amendment (TSA-NA-23-02) that requires airports across Montana to increase the physical screening of employees and install expensive explosive protection equipment with zero financial support.

“Aviation security screening and safety at our airports is a national priority; however, this amendment imposes unreasonable requirements on Montanan airports which already contribute substantially to airspace security,” said Rep. Rosendale. “The unrealistic timeline provided by TSA forces airports in Montana, using limited revenue sources, to develop procedures and implement random screening of aviation workers by September 25th, 2023. Airports in Montana cannot be expected to train staff, develop guidelines, and administer such a program in such a short amount of time. I request that the TSA rescind this unfunded mandate immediately and take financial and administrative responsibility for the requirements of this amendment.”

On April 27th, the TSA gave Montana airports less than five months to comply with this new amendment and install expensive equipment to screen employees. Just as concerning were recent comments made by TSA leadership, which implied that the Agency intends to expand requirements beyond just random screenings to full-time employee screening in the near future. Montana airports expect the burdensome and costly requirements imposed on them to affect all commercial service airports in the state. This amendment also opens Montana’s airports to untold legal fees due to the state constitution’s strict search and seizure protections.

Read Rep. Rosendale's full letter to TSA Administrator Pekoske here.