See just issued statement by Rep Eleanor Holmes Norton:
Norton Assured by TSA Administrator of Corrective Actions Taken, After D.C. License Rejected to Board Plane
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today spoke with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole following an incident in which D.C. resident Ashley Brandt was initially prevented from boarding an airplane because a TSA agent wrongfully believed that a District of Columbia-issued license was an invalid form of identification. Norton spoke with Administrator Pistole to follow up on a letter she sent to him yesterday, requesting that he ensure that all TSA employees are informed now and in their training that official identification issued by D.C. must be treated the same as state-issued identification, and to remind them that D.C. residents are American citizens and deserve to be treated as such. Norton learned that since the incident with Ms. Brandt, TSA has issued a communication to its screening personnel to reiterate that a D.C.-issued license is a valid form of identification with which to board an airplane. In addition, TSA this afternoon will hold a call with all TSA federal security directors nationwide to remind them of the validity of D.C.-issued licenses and those of the U.S. territories and Native American tribes. Norton was also assured that TSA will be calling Ms. Brandt this evening. Norton said that Ms. Brandt, who did not file a formal complaint, “has handled this situation with dignity and good humor.”
“I applaud TSA for taking corrective action following the questioning of the right of a resident of the nation’s capital to board an airplane,” said Norton. “I am on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and have worked with the Administrator, who is from Maryland and understands that our city’s residents, who face the daily disrespect of fulfilling all the duties of citizenship without a vote in the House or the Senate or full control over their local laws or budget, cannot take any slight to their citizenship lightly. I hope this incident informs not just TSA, but the entire nation of D.C.’s ongoing struggle for equality.”
Norton and Pistole also discussed TSA’s long-term plan for authentication technology for passenger identification.