Earlier today, Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) President and CEO Kevin Burke teamed up with travel industry leaders and government officials to urge the traveling public to obtain REAL ID compliant identification.
The REAL ID Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005, implements a 9/11 Commission recommendation for the Federal Government to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses” as a way to enhance aviation security.
“Ensuring the safety and security of the traveling public is the top priority for airports – and REAL ID is an important component of our efforts,” Burke said. “We are encouraging the public to ensure you have a REAL ID compliant license by October 1st of next year. This will be critical to ensure you are able to travel.”
According to a recent study by the U.S. Travel Association, many Americans may not be aware all Americans will be required to have a REAL ID compliant license in order to board a commercial aircraft beginning on October 1, 2020 – just one year from today.
The purpose of this week’s event held at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC was to encourage the public to obtain proper identification before the rapidly approaching deadline. It also marks the start of a yearlong educational effort by TSA, airports, airlines, and other stakeholders about the importance of obtaining a REAL ID compliant license.
“We are working hard to ensure the public is aware of this fast approaching deadline,” Burke said. “Despite the ongoing efforts to raise awareness, we remain concerned about the small number of travelers who have obtained a REAL ID compliant licenses”
Some states and airports are already taking advantage of local opportunities to educate travelers. ACI-NA joined with our airline partners and other associations to send a joint letter to each governor of all 50 states and territories, encouraging them to launch public awareness campaigns to more effectively educate residents about REAL ID requirements.
In lieu of a REAL ID compliant license, air passengers are able to use other federally approved identification for air travel, including U.S. passports or Global Entry, NEXUS or SENTRI identification cards.
Burke was joined by Transportation Security Administration Acting Deputy Administrator Patricia Cogswell, as well as officials from Airlines for America, the American Association of Airport Executives, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, and the DC, Maryland, and Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles commissioners.
You can learn more about the importance of REAL ID here. And don’t forget to save the date for October 1, 2020. Act now to ensure you have a REAL ID.