KCM® Rules for Use
The Known Crewmember® (KCM®) program is a joint initiative between Airlines for America (A4A), the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). KCM® is a risk-based system that enables TSA security officers to positively verify the identity and employment status of active pilot and flight attendant crewmembers (i.e., flying the line). The program expedites crewmember access to sterile areas of airports, reduces congestion in passenger checkpoint screening lines, and enhances security for all who depend on air transportation.
Current KCM® Rules for Use are as follows:
KCM® Crewmember definition:
For the purpose of the KCM® Program, authorized crewmembers have been defined by the TSA as: Pilot in Command, First Officer, Flight Engineer, Flight Navigator and Flight Attendant. No other individuals are allowed access in the KCM® program.
KCM® Identification Requirements:
- If the crewmember is wearing a uniform, the crewmember must present a non-expired:
- Government-issued photo ID; and
- Aircraft operator-issued crewmember photo ID or National Air Transport Association ID.
- If the crewmember is not wearing a uniform, the crewmember must present a non-expired:
- Government-issued photo ID;
- Aircraft operator-issued crewmember photo ID or National Air Transport Association ID; and
- Third form of identification, either:
- A valid FAA Airman’s Certificate;
- A valid FAA Flight Attendant Certificate of Proficiency; or
- A second non-expired government-issued photo ID.
KCM® Screening Requirements:
KCM® provides crewmembers with an alternative entry point into airport sterile areas, which may be separate from the passenger security-screening lanes. Crewmembers will be met by a TSA Security Officer (TSO) who will ask for the appropriate identification requirements (see above). The TSO will match the identification to the crewmember’s appearance and confirm the crewmember’s identity and current employment status via the KCM® system. Once these tasks are successfully completed, the crewmember will be allowed to proceed into the sterile area. It is possible, however, that a crewmember may be selected for random screening. Random screening or Unpredictable Screening Procedures (USP) is built into the system as a check and balance to ensure the integrity of the KCM® program.
Effective August 27, 2019, an automated enhancement to random screening/USP has been enabled in the KCM® system. This enhancement will include retention of the crewmember selection for USP for a period of time at all KCM® access points in that airport.
NOTE: If the selected crewmember exits the sterile area and attempts to reenter through a KCM® access point during this time period, they will continue to be identified for USP. 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/USP is a normal TSA screening policy. It is incorporated for crewmembers’ protection and to ensure the integrity of the system.
Crewmembers also may be directed to passenger-screening lanes whenever the KCM® access point is not operational.
Screening requirements include:
- Only authorized crewmembers approved by the KCM® system may enter 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.
- Crewmembers can utilize the KCM® access points for both business and personal use except when on personal international travel. Crewmembers on personal international travel must use a passenger-screening checkpoint. Travel from the U.S. to a destination which does not require a passport (e.g., U.S. Virgin Islands) is not considered international travel.
- All airline employees are subject to TSA screening practices conducted within sterile areas, which include roving screening teams, random gate screening, and questioning by TSA officers. KCM® does not exempt a crewmember from complying with these additional security measures.
- Crewmembers are permitted to bring personal property through the KCM® access points as long as that property is not on the TSA’s Prohibited Items List (PIL). Crewmembers may not bring personal property belonging to others (including family members) through KCM® access points.
- Crewmembers may not bring pets or pet carriers through the KCM® access point. Crewmembers traveling with pets will be directed to the passenger-screening checkpoint and screened in accordance with TSA screening procedures.
- Crewmembers may use KCM® access points in or out of uniform in accordance with the identification requirements above.
- When selected for additional screening:
- Crewmembers in uniform:
- Are allowed Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGs) and other exemptions applicable to uniformed flight crewmembers at passenger-screening checkpoints (TSA Pre✓® lanes and standard lanes).
- Are allowed front-of-the-line access at standard passenger-screening lanes.
- Are not allowed front-of-the-line access at TSA Pre✓™ lanes.
- Crewmembers not in uniform:
- Are not allowed LAGs exemptions and other exemptions applicable to uniformed flight crewmembers at passenger screening checkpoints.
- Are not allowed front-of-the-line access at standard passenger-screening lanes.
- Are not allowed access to TSA Pre✓® lanes unless designated for TSA Pre✓® on boarding pass.
- Non-uniformed crewmembers are screened to passenger-screening standards.
- Crewmembers in uniform:
- If TSA cannot confirm a crewmember’s identity or current employment status at the KCM® access point, the crewmember will be directed to the passenger-screening checkpoint. Crewmembers should follow TSA instructions and not attempt to resolve the issue with TSA officers as they are unable to rectify system failures or denials. A KCM® denial could result from a database error that is nonspecific to that crewmember, or it might involve a miscommunication with the crewmember’s airline database. If a crewmember believes that a KCM® denial occurred relative to employment status, they should proceed to the passenger-screening checkpoint for screening and, when time permits, ask an airline supervisor for assistance with the airline KCM® record.
KCM® Disqualification Protocols:
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® access point. The duration of disqualification from participation in KCM® is related to the seriousness of the violation and/or a repeated history of regulatory violations. TSA has implemented a standardized response from the agency for KCM® suspensions and removals rather than relying on agency field operations to implement such measures.
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. 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 TSA believes was violated, and requesting a written response. In some instances, generally involving prohibited items, the TSA is authorized by federal regulation to use a streamlined procedure and no LOI will be issued.
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.
NOTE: The majority of KCM® access point disqualification cases involve attempted access for personal international travel, transporting the property of another individual through a KCM® access point, and carrying prohibited items.
The use of the KCM® program is a privilege and not a right. Therefore, KCM® eligible crewmembers are required to understand these KCM® Rules for Use and comply with these rules while using the KCM® access points. Failure to follow these rules could result in temporary or permanent loss of KCM® privileges. More egregious violations of the Code Federal Regulations (CFRs) could result in civil or criminal penalties.
KCM® Frequently Asked Questions
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 and/or random gate screening. KCM® does not exempt a crewmember from complying with these additional screening techniques.
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: 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 email@example.com.
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.