Tester Provision to Cut Red Tape for Montana Airport Workers Included in Homeland Security Funding Bill

Senator’s amendment will lower costs for Montana airports, increase efficiency

With the support of Montana’s local and regional airport operators, U.S. Senator Jon Tester recently secured a provision in the Senate’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill to cut red tape for Montana’s airport workers and increase airport efficiency by eliminating additional, ineffective, and costly screening requirements for airport workers.

“Folks in the Treasure State count on efficient airport service to grow their small businesses and stay connected, and I’ll never let bureaucratic red tape get in the way of our Montana way of life,” said Tester. “After hearing loud and clear from local airports, I know that this policy from the Biden Administration isn’t right for Montana. Securing this provision in the funding bill is a step in the right direction, but I won’t stop working until the Administration pulls back this rule.”

Tester’s amendment to the Senate’s DHS funding bill would avoid increased costs and improve efficiency for Montana airport operators by delaying implementation of Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) National Amendment on Aviation Worker Screening. It would also require TSA to conduct additional risk assessments, review the legal and privacy implications, and solicit additional feedback from airport operators.  Airport workers currently under go screening and security measures. Without Tester’s amendment, TSA’s new policy will require airports to significantly increase airport-performed physical screening of employees via non-TSA employees, increasing costs for operators and lowering operational efficiency. The new requirements are set to go into effect next month.

Tester introduce this amendment after hearing directly from airport operators across Montana. He has led the effort to lower costs and expand access to reliable air service in rural communities. In May, Tester introduced his bipartisan Small Community Air Service Enhancement Act to increase flight options for travelers in rural America. Additionally, as a part of his bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Tester secured hundreds of millions for Montana airport improvements and expansion.