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|Budget Deal Signed – TSA to Withdraw Exit Lane Amendment
This afternoon, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, the two-year budget agreement announced two weeks ago by Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI), and passed by the Congress late last week. As you know, the Budget bill contains a provision, which specifically directs TSA to continue to monitor exit lanes at those airports where it provided the function on December 1, 2013, permanently.
Given this development, we have received information indicating that TSA is in the process of withdrawing the Airport Security Program Amendment, thus abandoning its attempt to shift the responsibility for monitoring exit lanes to airport operators. Congratulations everyone!
Impact on Exit Lane Litigation
Now that Congress has made plain that TSA must continue to monitor exit lanes at the 155 airports affected by the TSA Exit Lane Amendment, we have begun to receive indications that the agency is in the process of advising the affected airports that the Amendment has been withdrawn. This will mean that there is no need to continue to pursue the pending petition for review that ACI-NA, AAAE and 18 individual airport operators filed to challenge the Exit Lane Amendment in the U.S. Court of Appeals. We expect, as a result, that our petition will be dismissed as moot.
A huge Thank You to all of you, our member airports, for your efforts in helping us mount a hard-fought and successful grassroots effort that resulted in Congress permanently assigning TSA the responsibility to monitor exit lanes. A special thanks to our colleagues on the ACI-NA PS&S team for their steady leadership and guidance as the technical experts on this issue. Additionally, we thank our friends at AAAE, A4A, IATA and RAA for their solid partnership on this effort and for complementing our lobbying and grassroots activities to lay the foundation, which made this victory possible.
It is especially fitting that this issue, which consumed us for the better part of this year, with the implementation deadline rapidly approaching, resulted in a big win for airports. What a great way to close out 2013!
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Christopher R. Bidwell, Vice President, Security and Facilitation, at (202) 861-8081 or <a href="mailto:lbeairsto, Director, Public Safety and Security, at (202) 861-8082.