Airports Encouraged by REAL ID Extension

Implementation Should Wait Until Travel Recovers


WASHINGTON – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) President and CEO Kevin M. Burke released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a twelve-month delay in the implementation of REAL ID travel identification requirements, until October 1, 2021. REAL ID implementation was set to begin on October 1, 2020, but was postponed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) global health pandemic.

“We are encouraged by the Department of Homeland Security’s recognition of the need to extend the deadline during the current coronavirus pandemic,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.  “With many departments of motor vehicles closed to the public, it was prudent to postpone implementation ahead of the October 1, 2020, deadline. As we think about moving forward, the health of the aviation system must be considered when establishing the deadline for implementation of REAL ID.  Given the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on air travel and airport and TSA operations, we urge DHS to be flexible in evaluating additional potential adjustments to the deadline.  We remain committed to working with the DHS on implementing REAL ID at the appropriate time.”




About ACI-NA

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) represents local, regional, and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACI-NA, providing goods and services to airports. Collectively, U.S. airports support more than 11.5 million jobs and account for $1.4 trillion in economic activity – or more than seven percent of the total U.S. GDP. Canadian airports support 405,000 jobs and contribute C$35 billion to Canada’s GDP. Learn more at