August 14, 2008

Airports, Airlines Laud AAAE’s TSC For Delivering Unparalleled Background Check Services And Value

AAAE's Transportation Security Clearinghouse (TSC), the largest civilian clearinghouse in the U.S., continues to be a highly effective and efficient provider of required background-check services for airlines and airports of all sizes, its customers reported in a just-completed survey. Notably, 98 percent of the survey respondents reported being very satisfied with their overall experience with TSC.

The survey, while emphasizing TSC's value to its users, underscores that the clearinghouse is a leader in customer service. TSC won repeated praise from respondents for offering guidance on issues of compliance and placing a high priority on resolving problems promptly.

Among respondents, 90 percent reported that they recently contacted the TSC. Of those, 98 percent indicated that one of TSC's highly trained customer service staff successfully resolved any issues they had, while more than 95 percent surveyed found great value in TSC's services in terms of convenience and cost-effectiveness.

One respondent from a Category X large hub airport noted that, "TSC's involvement has been invaluable for us to do business at the airport. Items run so much more smoothly than before they were involved."

A Category I medium hub representative commented that, "Without the TSC's involvement, the airport could not comply with TSA mandates and directives. The fingerprint CHRC record-keeping alone is a (monumental) task that the FAA was facing difficulty with" before TSC was created.

"We are proud of TSC's consistent record of excellent customer service to airports and the aviation industry," AAAE President Charles Barclay commented. "In the six years that TSC has been in operation, we've reduced the average turnaround time for a background check; we've developed a system with an error rate four times lower than the average federal agency; and we've reduced the price our customers pay. The TSC also provides a key role as the Central Identity Management System for the Registered Traveler Program and serves as an outstanding example of the results that a first-class team can produce."

TSC's latest quarterly survey was conducted in July 2008. Nearly 30 percent of the total survey responses were from Category X or Category I airports.

TSC has facilitated more than 3.2 million biometrically based background checks and more than 1.4 million biographical background checks since its startup in 2002.

TSC provides background check services at a cost of 50 percent-70 percent less than other service providers in the transportation industry in less than half the amount of time.

In October 2007, TSC implemented a fee reduction that saves airports more than $1 million annually. The fee reduction lowered the cost per fingerprint record for the aviation community from $29 to $27, representing the second $2 decrease in the fee since TSC's inception.

Federal law requires Criminal History Record Checks for airport employees who access security-sensitive areas of airports, including the secure areas of terminals and the Security Identification Display Area (SIDAs). Biographic checks are required for everyone who requires an airport-issued ID badge at a commercial-service (Part 139) airport. AAAE launched the TSC to give its members -- and all airports -- an efficient, cost-effective way to comply with expanding background-check requirements after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

TSC's role extends beyond acting as the central point for data submission and forwarding the records to the government. The clearinghouse also serves as the central location for airports to retrieve background-check results. On biographic checks, for example, a worker's status is communicated via a secure Web site established and maintained by the TSC.

TSC also serves as the Central Information Management Systems (CIMS) for the nationwide, interoperable Registered Traveler Program. CIMS is the world's most advanced interoperable information management system of travelers' biometric data, using both fingerprint and iris biometric data.

ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE ( is the world's largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's 5,000-plus members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry.