Airport employees pass through the screening checkpoint. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport officials are implementing a new security screening process for employees. The new screening procedures soft launched this week and full screening begins September 8, 2015.
Photo: KENT D. JOHNSON
Photo: KENT D. JOHNSON

Hartsfield-Jackson to use continuous background checks on workers

Hartsfield-Jackson International airport plans to begin using an FBI service for criminal history monitoring of airport workers, rather than its current system of conducting background checks on employees every two years.

The airport plans to use the FBI’s Rap Back service facilitated by the Transportation Security Administration.

The service is less expensive than re-fingerprinting employees every two years, according to city documents. The airport last year moved to the system of fingerprinting employees every two years, amid concerns about an insider threat, after previously conducting background checks only when a worker was hired.

According to a summary of the FBI Rap Back system, fingerprints are retained for ongoing criminal history checks.

The airport is seeking Atlanta City Council approval for a memorandum of understanding with TSA for the service.

Hartsfield-Jackson also began screening employees regularly at checkpoints after a gun-running scheme came to light in 2014, when a Delta baggage handler was charged with helping to smuggle guns onto jets bound for New York City. The worker used his employee access to secure areas to smuggle guns into the airport and pass them to another man who took them onto flights to New York, according to the charges.

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