TSA Simplifies Alien-Fingerprinting Process
A recent rule change by the Transportation Security Administration to allow foreign students to be fingerprinted in their home country is good news for U.S. flight schools that were at risk of losing those students, says the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI). "This is enormous," said NAFI Executive Director Rusty Sachs. "This new procedure will ... eliminate the need for repeated, extended trips to the United States to comply with the security regulations." Under the original rule, foreign students had to be fingerprinted within the U.S., then wait up to 30 days before receiving authorization to begin training. Sachs said the additional living and travel expenses would lead some to look elsewhere for flight training, shutting many U.S. flight schools out of an estimated $1 billion market. The TSA now has authorized the National Air Transportation Association Compliance Services to collect and certify fingerprints for alien flight training candidates. The TSA says it will closely monitor the new, streamlined process to determine its effectiveness.