Monday, August 25, 2008

DHS Foreign Flier Registry Upsets Airlines

A U.S. Homeland Security (OTCBB:HSCC) Department plan requiring three-day advance notice from foreign fliers would be bad for business, say airline leaders.

The registry plan would take effect in January and aim to give security officials more time to check for terrorism and immigration problems among an estimated 14 million visitors annually, USA Today reported Monday.

But airline and other business leaders say the measure would keep travelers away and hurt the U.S. image.

"The U.S. already has a bad reputation in terms of the difficulty of international travel, and this could make it even worse," Steve Lott, of the International Air Transport Association, told USA Today. "We foresee a lot of passengers getting to the airport having no idea what (the new program) is."

Opponents want the Jan. 12 start date postponed. Homeland Security officials have acknowledged there may be initial problems and have said they won't immediately stop unregistered travelers from entering the county.

"There's certainly going to be a phase-in in terms of enforcement," Kathy Kraninger, Homeland Security deputy assistant secretary for policy, said to USA Today.

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