KCM Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why has TSA issued this security program amendment?
A: TSA has determined that certain violations of TSA security requirements by a crew member are inconsistent with a determination that the crewmember poses a sufficiently low risk to transportation security to be eligible for KCM expedited screening. TSA wants to implement a standardized response from the agency for KCM suspensions and removals rather than relying on agency field operations to implement such measures.
Q: What can I expect if TSA believes that I have violated a security regulation that disqualifies me from KCM?
A: In most instances, the TSA will send the crewmember a Letter of Investigation (LOI) explaining the incident that occurred, identifying the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) which the Agency believes was violated and requesting a written response. In some instances, generally involving prohibited items, the Agency is authorized by federal regulation to use a streamlined procedure and no LOI will be issued.
Q: If I commit a violation of transportation security requirements, how soon will my KCM privileges be suspended?
A: KCM privileges will be suspended immediately when TSA initiates its investigation into a disqualifying violation of a transportation security requirement. If the investigation results in regulatory findings, including a Warning Notice, loss of KCM privileges will continue for the period of time that TSA has determined is necessary. If the investigation does not result in a regulatory finding, KCM privileges will be restored when the investigation is closed.
Q: Why are there different periods of disqualification depending on the specific violation?
A: The duration of disqualification from participation in KCM expedited screening is related to the seriousness of the violation and/or a repeated history of regulatory violations.
Q: Can TSA suspend or revoke KCM privileges for a security violation that did not occur at a KCM access area or for a violation not necessarily related to KCM?
A: Yes. KCM is a risk-based security program. TSA has determined that certain violations of TSA security requirements by a crewmember are inconsistent with a determination that the crewmember poses a sufficiently low risk to transportation security to be eligible for KCM expedited screening, regardless of whether the violation physically occurred at the KCM lane.
Q: For what types of violations can a crewmember be disqualified from using KCM access for expedited screening?
A: The following transportation security regulatory and/or statutory violations result in a disqualification:
• fraud and intentional falsification of records;
• tampering or interfering with, compromising, modifying, or attempting to circumvent any security system, measure or procedure;
• entering, or presence within, a secured or sterile area without complying with the access control systems, measures, or procedures;
• unauthorized use of any airport-issued or airport-approved access or identification medium;
• entering the sterile area or boarding an aircraft without submitting to the screening and inspection procedures;
• interference with screening personnel;
• carrying a weapon, explosive, or incendiary to an airport or onboard an aircraft on an individual’s person or accessible property;
• carrying a weapon, explosive or incendiary in checked baggage without properly complying with TSA requirements;
• aircraft piracy;
• interference with flight crew;
• carrying a weapon or explosive on an aircraft; certain criminal acts on an aircraft;
• threats or providing false information; and,
• incidents onboard aircraft involving Federal Air Marshals.
The majority of KCM lane disqualification cases to date involve attempted access for personal, international travel, transporting the property of another individual through a KCM access point, and carrying prohibited items.
Q: What should I expect when using a KCM® access point?
A: Expect to enter the sterile area of an airport via an alternative access point, which may be separate from the passenger security- screening lanes. You will be met by a TSA Security Officer (TSO) who will ask for both your company identification and a TSA-accepted, non-expired, government-issued photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license. The TSO (i.e., screener) will match the identification to your appearance and confirm your identity and current employment status via the KCM® system. Once these tasks are successfully completed, you will be allowed to proceed into the sterile area, with no other screening or inspection of your person or accessible property. It is possible, however, that you and your accessible property items may be selected for random screening. Random screening is built in as a check and balance to ensure the integrity of the KCM® system.
Q: Uniformed crewmembers are allowed exemptions by the TSA when they are screened at the passenger screening checkpoint. With the change of the uniform requirement, how does this impact the exemptions at the KCM® access point and at the passenger screening checkpoint?
A: Effective January 13, 2015, crewmembers are no longer required to wear uniforms when utilizing the KCM® access points at airports nationwide. Uniformed crewmembers are allowed exemptions by the TSA when they are screened at KCM® access points and passenger screening checkpoints. With the change of the uniform requirement, these exemptions at the KCM® access point and at the passenger screening checkpoint will be permitted in accordance with the following:
a. Uniformed crewmembers will continue to have exemptions at the passenger screening checkpoint and the KCM® access point.
b. Non-uniformed crewmembers, who are selected and receive random screening at the KCM® access point, will continue to have exemptions.
c. Non-uniformed crewmembers who are selected for random screening at KCM® access points, then directed by the TSA officer to the passenger screening checkpoint (at either the standard lane or employee lane, where available) to receive screening:
• WILL NOT be allowed exemptions
• Are not permitted to utilize TSA Pre✓™ lanes
• Do not have front-of-the-line access to the standard passenger screening lane
• (Note: Non-uniformed crewmembers are viewed as passengers when screened at passenger screening checkpoints and are screened to passenger screening standards. This is a longstanding rule that has not been changed.)
Notice: When approaching a KCM® access point, non-uniformed crewmembers should wear their airline ID visible on their outer most garment above their waist. This will assist the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) in identifying you as a crewmember approaching the KCM® podium and not a passenger attempting to breach the sterile area of the airport.
Q. When can a crewmember use the KCM® access point?
A: Crewmembers can utilize the KCM access points for both business and personal use (except when traveling internationally for personal travel – see bullet points below). TSA Officers do not make a determination as to whether a crewmember is on active duty for a flight, traveling for business, or traveling for personal reasons. TSA Officers should not ask crewmembers their reason for using KCM. Crewmembers must have the required identification to use KCM. The crewmember’s airline also must participate in KCM in order to be eligible
- Crewmembers may not enter the sterile area through the KCM checkpoint when on personal international travel.
- Crewmembers on personal international travel must enter the sterile area through a passenger screening checkpoint.
Q: What do I do if my KCM® barcode card is lost or stolen?
A: Request a new KCM® barcode card from your airline management. Once you receive your new KCM® barcode card, login to your secure account at www.mykcmsupport.com. Update your new KCM® barcode card number in your account.
Q: How long will the KCM® processing take?
A: Under normal circumstances, a typical KCM® transaction should require about 15 seconds. The time required to complete the process is contingent on a number of factors, such as the speed at which the system responds, or the presence and length of a queue, as other crewmembers may be waiting to be processed, and crewmembers having approved identification for the TSA TSO to process out and available.
Q: Does KCM® mean that I will never be screened in the traditional checkpoint fashion when passing through a KCM access point?
A: No. Crewmembers may be directed to passenger-screening lines as part of a random screening-selection process, or whenever the KCM® access point is not operational. Should the KCM® access point become inoperative, TSA security officers will direct crewmembers to the passenger-screening checkpoints.
Q: What should I do if I am selected for random screening at a KCM® access point?
A: Cooperate fully and without delay, follow the instruction provided by the TSO. You may be directed to screening at the KCM® access point or referred back to the passenger screening checkpoint. Do not attempt to access another KCM access point at that airport. Failure to follow the instruction provided by the TSO may result in action by the TSA, which may include a loss of KCM® privileges for that crewmember. Random screening is a normal TSA screening policy. It is incorporated for your protection and to ensure the integrity of the system. (Note: The TSA may vary the percentage of random selection based upon their operational need.)
Q: I am traveling for pleasure and I have a SSSS on my boarding pass or seat request card, what do I do?
A: Airline employees traveling for pleasure are subject to the TSA Secure Flight (SF) vetting system the same as passengers. The SF system randomly selects individual to undergo selectee screening and will identify the printed boarding pass or seat request card with a SSSS. It is suggested that you print your pass prior to entering the sterile area. If your pass has a SSSS printed on it, you must undergo selectee screening at the passenger screening checkpoint. Do not go through KCM. Once you arrive at the boarding gate and your pass has not been properly marked by the TSA , you will be sent back to the passenger screening checkpoint for proper screening.
Q: Does using KCM® preclude any chance that I may be selected for additional screening after I successfully transit an access point and proceed into the sterile area of an airport?
A: No. All air carrier employees are subject to TSA screening practices conducted within sterile areas, which include roving screening teams, random gate screening, and questioning by Behavioral Detection Officers (BDOs). KCM® does not exempt a crewmember from complying with these additional screening techniques.
Q: Will my carry-on items be inspected when I proceed through a KCM® access point?
A: No, unless you are selected for random passenger-style screening, in which case, both you and your carry-on items will be screened via traditional checkpoint screening protocols.
Q: Am I permitted to escort anyone with me through a KCM® access point?
A: No. Only authorized crewmembers approved by the KCM® system are allowed to enter into the airport sterile area through a KCM® access point. All other individuals (to include spouses, dependents, minor children, etc….) must be screened at the passenger screening checkpoint.
Q: Am I permitted to transport additional carry-on items that are not my own through a KCM® access point?
A: No. Crewmembers are permitted to bring only their personal carry-on items through a KCM® access point. You may not transport carry-on items that are not your own when entering an airport sterile area via KCM®. Failure to comply with the restriction may result in loss of KCM® privileges for that crewmember.
Crewmembers are permitted to bring personal property through the KCM® access points as long as it is not on the TSA’s Prohibited Items List (PIL) and the individuals have been approved by the KCM® system and verified by a TSA Officer.
Pets are not allowed through the KCM® access point with the crewmember. Crewmembers with pets will be directed to the passenger screening checkpoint and screened in accordance with TSA screening procedures.
Q: What should I do if the TSA cannot validate my identity and employment status at the KCM® access point?
A: If the TSA cannot confirm your identity or current employment status at the KCM® access point, you will be directed to the passenger-screening checkpoint in order to access the sterile area. Please follow TSA instructions and do not attempt to resolve the issue with transportation security officers, as they are unable to rectify system failures or denials. A KCM® denial could result from a database error that is nonspecific to you, or it might involve a miscommunication with your air carrier. If you believe that a KCM® denial occurred relative to your employment status, please enter the sterile area as directed via the passenger-screening checkpoint and, when time permits, ask your airline supervisor for assistance in rectifying the situation with your carrier.
Q: If I am a federal flight deck officer (FFDO), does KCM® change how I access an airport sterile area?
A: Yes. Procedures for FFDOs have been revised. FFDOs will be required to provide an approved airline ID along with their FFDO credential to the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) staffing the KCM access point. Reference the FFDO SOP for further details.
Q: Does KCM® change any other TSA regulations regarding when and what types of items I may carry onboard an aircraft?
A: No. You are subject to all existing crewmember regulations regarding the types of items that may be carried onboard an aircraft. KCM® does not provide any other exemptions or privileges regarding the items that you carry, other than those already articulated in TSA regulations.
Q: Why are not all airlines participating in KCM®?
A: It is the goal of TSA and A4A to ultimately include all U.S. airlines in KCM®. KCM® started as a trial program in 2011, but was approved by the TSA as a standing program in 2012 and is now available on a subscription basis to any TSA-approved airline. Crewmembers should check with their airline for further information about their carrier’s participation in the program.
Q: Are non-U.S. airlines involved in KCM®?
A: Like the Cockpit Access Security System (CASS), there is no reciprocal agreement between the United States and other countries for use of KCM®.
Q: Where can I submit feedback regarding KCM®?
A: Questions and feedback by crewmembers should be directed to their respective airlines.
Q: Can a crewmember individually join KCM® if their airline does not participate in the program?
A: No. The KCM® system uses a secure connection to communicate with the participating airline’s crewmember database to determine the eligibility and employment status of the crewmember.
Q: How is the KCM® barcode card used?
A: The KCM® barcode card is used to expedite the crewmember verification process at the KCM® access points.
Q: What if I have not received a KCM® barcode card from my participating airline?
A: You may still utilize all of the active KCM® access points without a card. This includes crewmembers that may have a KCM® barcode card that does not function properly at the time of scanning. The Transportation Security Officers will manually input your information into the KCM® system if you do not have a functioning barcode card.
Q: My airline is participating in the KCM® program; where can I get a KCM barcode card?
A: A crewmember will be issued a KCM® barcode card from their participating airline management staff. Once you receive the barcode card, follow the instructions on the back to register it into the KCM® system. Once registered, you may begin using the barcode card at any active KCM® access point. Again, you must present your airline ID as well as a US government-issued photo ID to utilize the KCM® access points.
Q: Difficulties with KCM® Account Activation or Barcode Card Registration?
A: Airlines for America (A4A) has received some reports of crewmembers experiencing technical difficulties while trying to activate a KCM® account or register a KCM® barcode card on the www.mykcmsupport.com website. Some crewmembers with an AOL or EarthLink e-mail account are reporting issues related to the spam blocker these Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use. Crewmembers that experience technical difficulties, while either activating an account or registering a KCM® barcode card should contact the KCM® service provider directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Are temporary government issued photo IDs allowed?
A: No. The TSA Special Screening Procedures (SSP) for KCM do not allow crewmembers to use a temporary government issued photo ID for access into the airport sterile area through a KCM access point. If you have been issued a temporary government issued photo ID and it is your only form of government issued identification, proceed to the passenger screening checkpoint or employee screening location to access the airport sterile area.