Airports across the country have been mandated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to implement Rap Back, a continuous search and reporting system of arrests and convictions through the FBI. By providing daily updates on fingerprints on file, Rap Back is expected to close the loopholes that exist between the hiring process and a felonious encounter with the authorities.
Rap Back continuously reports when an employee has been charged with a felony or has a felony conviction. Among the convictions included under the policy are Interfering with Air Navigation, Sedition, Treason, Violence at an Airport, and Aircraft Piracy. According to the Department of Homeland Security, Rap Back generates electronic notifications whenever if applicants, employees, or volunteers, engage in any criminal activity where fingerprints are taken and submitted to the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System. Agencies will also be notified if any previously unreported criminal activity is updated.
According to PHL Airport Security Manager Jason Sankey, “Without Rap Back, employers had to depend on their employees to self-report their own criminal activity or have it discovered because of re-fingerprinting. Rap Back is a useful tool to continue to utmost safety at airports.”
The national mandate with full implementation was required by March 29th.