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Travelers Can Apply for Real ID Electronically

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To help meet the October 1 Real ID deadline, the United States government has granted permission to individual states to start allowing travelers to submit the required application documents electronically.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to ensure passengers boarding flights starting in October have the enhanced form of identification needed to pass through security. Officials claim nearly 100 million Americans have the ID already, but around 66 percent of U.S. citizens still lack a compliant license.

As a result of the concerns associated with not enough people acquiring the new form of ID in time, the DHS is now looking to the public, individual states and private companies to develop ideas to speed up the process and make it easier to understand.

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U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President Tori Emerson Barnes spoke out in support of the decision to add the ability to electronically submit the required application documents.

“U.S. Travel testified before a Senate subcommittee last year that, without significant policy changes, thousands of Americans could be turned away from the TSA checkpoint on October 1,” Barnes said in a statement. “Technology and security have advanced greatly in the nearly 15 years since REAL ID was introduced, and we encourage DHS and Congress to pursue additional policy changes to facilitate Americans’ REAL ID compliancy.”

“We applaud DHS for recognizing the need to modernize the REAL ID application process, and we will continue to work with the agency to get Americans ready for the October 1, 2020 deadline for REAL ID enforcement,” Barnes continued.

The Real ID deadline is causing major concerns in the aviation industry, as the Airports Council International-North America has issued a warning that “thousands of passengers could be denied boarding and left stranded.”

Officials from the organization representing U.S. airports said the deadline is a “crisis waiting to happen” and called on the federal government to push the deadline back in hopes of buying more time for travelers to acquire the identification.

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TSA Confirms First Employee Death Related to Coronavirus

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The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that a federal employee working at a New Jersey airport died from complications associated with coronavirus, marking the agency’s first COVID-19-related death.

According to the official TSA website, 39-year-old Francis “Frank” Boccabella III died on April 2 after 16 years with the organization. He was an Explosive Detection Canine Handler at Newark Liberty International Airport.

A TSA spokesperson sent heartfelt condolences to Boccabella’s wife, extended family, colleagues and friends. “His passing represents a personal loss to all of us who knew him and cherished both his friendship and professionalism,” the statement read.

Boccabella joined the TSA in 2004 at John F. Kennedy International Airport before becoming a Compliance Inspector at the Newark airport and finally settling into his role as an Explosive Detection Canine Handler.

Boccabella worked with a six-year-old German Short-haired Pointer named Bullet to screen hundreds of thousands of passengers, keeping them and the transportation network safe.

In recent weeks, the TSA received updated protocols regarding the spread of coronavirus, including the decision to allow employees to wear N95 masks and eye protection, as well as mandatory nitrile gloves.

The TSA also recently announced a new website to provide travelers with updated airport regulations and keep track of confirmed cases of coronavirus among employees.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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