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Aviation Overview

In 2002, in response to the tragic events of 9/11, the Transportation Security Clearinghouse (TSC) was created in partnership with the federal government to quickly and cost effectively ease the aviation industry’s efforts to check the backgrounds of over one million active aviation employees; the objective: to secure the nation’s aviation infrastructure.

The TSC has since become the nation’s largest civilian clearinghouse, processing more than a quarter-million Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Threat Assessments (STA) and over a million biometrically based Criminal History Record Checks (CHRC) for aviation workers each year.

As the fastest and most cost-effective credentialing system in the nation, the TSC has developed a highly flexible, open platform that is capable of accepting multiple forms of identity and vetting information. Data is transmitted via a secure network from over 400 enrollment centers around the nation and abroad. Operating in partnership with the TSA, the TSC has reduced the average aviation vet processing time from 52 days to four hours; this has produced savings in the hundreds of millions of dollars in personnel costs for the aviation industry.

The TSC prides itself on providing world-class service to the aviation community. It assists the aviation community with establishing and maintaining compliance with government mandates and security regulations. With the TSC’s aviation focus, innovative information technology infrastructure and highly trained customer service staff, it aims to help make airport and air carrier badging operations and compliance as easy as possible.

The cooperative relationship between the TSC and the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) puts the Clearinghouse in a strategic position to both protect and advance the interests of the aviation community. It knows the players and understands the policies and technologies that impact badging programs.

The Clearinghouse provides a number of critical functions including:

  • Expedited processing and resolution of fingerprint-based and name-based checks through required federal channels;
  • Cutting edge quality assurance processes ensuring efficient, accurate and complete fingerprint and data submissions;
  • Enabling regulated entities to submit fingerprints either electronically or physically on inked cards;
  • Ensuring the secure handling of investigation results;
  • Permitting only authorized recipients of airports and air carriers to view investigation results;
  • Providing centralized billing and accounting reconciliation;
  • Standardization of airport interface with federal databases;
  • Facilitating access to training expertise and assisting the industry in purchasing electronic fingerprinting equipment; and
  • The facilitation of the resubmission of fingerprints for regulated parties.

Finally, the TSC supports the Aviation Worker Vetting key programs including: general aviation crews operating aircraft over 12,500 pounds, general aviation crews and the aviation security officers flying into Washington Reagan National Airport, commercial charter pilots, pilots who participate in the Maryland Three Program, foreign applicants under the Alien Flight School Program, contract screeners at private airports, federal transportation security officers and air marshals and TSA transportation security officers.

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