NTA Says Private Sector not Responsible for National Security; Opposes DHS Proposal
April 23, 2008
April 23, 2008
NTA Says Private Sector not Responsible for National Security;
Opposes DHS Proposal
The National Tour Association voices its opposition to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposal calling for airlines and cruise lines to collect biometric information, including fingerprints, from foreign travelers departing the United States.
"Whether an airline or cruise line, placing such a responsibility adds an undue financial burden and an unrealistic expectation that they should be responsible for national security," said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP.
The association will be submitting formal comments to DHS and seeking answers to the following questions:
- 1. If the additional costs for implementing these security measures will be passed on to the traveler or absorbed by the airlines, what is the projected impact on the vitality of the U.S air transportation system and the global economy due to these higher costs?
2. By creating the Transportation Security Administration, which is under federal jurisdiction, why in this situation would the private sector be responsible for national security?
The International Air Transport Association has condemned the proposal, stating that border protection and immigration are government responsibilities. NTA supports IATA and will be enlisting the support of other segments of the travel and tourism economy. Already, the United Motorcoach Association and the American Bus Association have signed on in support.
"NTA recognizes the security-related issues that necessitate an entry/exit system and supports a collaborative effort to finding workable solutions," said Hoelscher. "The DHS proposal clearly indicates why travel and tourism needs an advocate in the White House. NTA continues its call for an executive office of travel and tourism to preclude a crisis such as this. Such a position would be critical to inject a broad perspective that would represent and support the travel and tourism economy, which is vital to our country."
Hoelscher added, "As always, NTA is committed to working with our partners in government and other travel associations to ensure the best decision is made to support not only the economy, but also the traveler."
The National Tour Association was established in 1951 as a unified voice to advocate a friendly regulatory environment in which the newly formed packaged travel industry could operate. Today, NTA’s government relations activities include monitoring security issues, as well as state and federal legislation and regulatory issues affecting the travel and tourism industry. NTA maintains full-time representation in Washington, D.C., to serve as the association’s voice on Capitol Hill to create a more positive travel experience for travelers around the globe. Additionally, NTA empowers its members to be advocates for the association on the local level, as well as to provide support for NTA’s positions on national priority issues through its Grassroots Action Network. For more information on NTA’s government relations activities, please visit http://www.ntaonline.com/ or call 800.682.8886.
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