Press Release

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
1 Aviation Circle - Washington, DC 20001-6000 - (703) 417-8370 - Fax: (703) 417-8371

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Statement From the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority On Task Force Initiative

 Statement From the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority On Task Force Initiative

The Airports Authority was a key member of the Task Force that worked on this initiative to identify individuals who allegedly falsified information in order to obtain airport identification badges at Washington Dulles International or Ronald Reagan Washington National Airports or otherwise violated the law. It was through the efforts of the Airports Authority Police Department to review some 20,000 records for erroneous information that these individuals were identified.

Prior to this operation, the Airports Authority followed the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration and conducted background checks that are authorized by federal law. Federal law does not allow airports to investigate or access information regarding social security and immigration and naturalization information provided by individuals seeking employment.

The critical element of this multi-jurisdictional effort over a five-month period was that the federal authorities enable the Airports Authority, for the first time, to match INS and Social Security information against the information on file at the Airports Authority.

The 94 individuals arrested today, who worked for sixty different employers, are from a pool of more than 20,000 workers at the airports, whose records were examined.

Beginning in December of 2001, federal law required that all new employees be subject to fingerprinting and background checks. By December 6th of 2002, all airport employees are required to have a fingerprint-based criminal history check against FBI records.

This is one of the most intense, coordinated efforts to examine airport employee records to date, and one of several such enforcement actions taken by the federal government and participating airports around the country.