Expediting Honor Flight Screenings

The House of Representatives has approved the Honor Flight Act, H.R. 4812, by voice vote requiring the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator to establish a process that provides expedited and dignified passenger screening for veterans taking Honor Flights to visit war memorials that honor their service.

Congressman Bill Owens says our nation’s veterans have served this country faithfully “Subjecting them to an invasive screening before they get on an Honor Flight is unnecessary and jarring to the experience.” He said, “Honor Flights require a different security standard and this legislation will ensure our screening procedures reflect that.”

Honor Flights were first established almost a decade ago to bring U.S. military veterans to Washington D.C to visit war memorials honoring their service. The first Honor Flights took off in May 2005 with six small planes flying 12 veterans to Washington. The service was so popular that 137 veterans had made the trip by the end of that year.

The first Honor Flight from Plattsburgh took place in May 2013 with more than 70 veterans making the trip that year. Last month a North Country Honor Flight brought 15 WWII veterans and their guardians to Washington to visit the WWII memorial. Participating veterans are also often recognized with a ceremony prior to departure to honor their service.

“I am proud to have seen local veterans off on several Honor Flights myself,” Owens added. “These flights are an important opportunity for us to recognize these veterans for their invaluable service and sacrifice. They deserve to be treated with the utmost respect.”

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