Travelers may find it easier to get through airport security because the FAST (Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely) Redress Act of 2007 recently passed through the US House of Representatives and has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee. The goal is for the bill to soon become law.
In November 2007, Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York introduced the act, which would help alleviate the burden of commercial aviation passengers who believe they have been wrongfully placed on a government watch list and consequently remanded to secondary screening or denied boarding. This legislation would set up a dedicated office within the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate and streamline the process of appeal for these individuals. This office would then create and share with airlines a “Cleared List” of individuals who have gone through the redress process.
One of the champions of the bill is Kerin McKinnon, executive vice-president of Global Business Development for Atlas Travel International. Ms. McKinnon was recently appointed to the National Business Travel Association Political Action Committee (NBTAPAC) Board. On June 9-11, Ms. McKinnon, along with other industry colleagues, traveled to Washington DC for a Legislative Summit to meet with members of Congress or key members of their staff to discuss the merits of the bill.
“My group was assigned to meet with the staff of several lawmakers including Senator Kennedy who was actually once detained due to his name appearing on a terrorist watch list,” said Ms. McKinnon. “We also visited the offices of Senator John Kerry and Congressmen John Olver, Barney Frank and with James McGovern himself. It was time well spent to discuss this important travel bill with such distinguished leaders and their staff. I feel it’s important to show my commitment to the legislative process and to have a voice in our industry, and this opportunity afforded me that voice.”
Ms. McKinnon is an established travel industry advocate and leader. She is also a long-time member and a two-term board member for the New England Business Travel Association (NEBTA), and she continues to annually chair the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) Boston Executive Forum. She has on several occasions raised money for, visited and worked with the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.