Archive

REAL ID compliance: Clock ticking on fix | TribLIVE.com
Local News

REAL ID compliance: Clock ticking on fix

gtrairporttimes020201017jpg
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Travelers go through security at Pittsburgh International Airport on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

As the clock ticks on Harrisburg's efforts to ensure that Pennsylvanians won't need passports to board even domestic flights come Jan. 22, far more than vacationers' convenience is at stake.

More than 60 percent of 27.7 million passengers passing through Pennsylvania airports in 2016 would have been denied boarding had the U.S. Department of Homeland Security not originally extended the state's REAL ID compliance deadline through January 2017. Those figures come from a letter signed by executives of nine airlines, an airline trade group, FedEx and UPS. They point out that beating this clock matters for business travel, for air-cargo operations that often involve federal facilities that require REAL ID-compliant identification and for generating tax revenue.

With Pennsylvania's current, additional DHS extension closer every day to expiring, Hempfield GOP Sen. Kim Ward's bill to repeal the 2012 state law prohibiting REAL ID compliance has passed the state Senate. But PennDOT says the 2012 law prevents it from discussing compliance, including costs, with DHS, so the repeal bill must become law — pronto — for the overall effort to make real progress.

Indeed, myriad practical details of compliance — including its costs — await resolution. And if the stakes outlined above aren't enough to motivate the necessary steps, the ballot box should be.

If Harrisburg fails to resolve the REAL ID issue before the Jan. 22 deadline, voters must hold its elected denizens — from Gov. Tom Wolf on down — accountable next year.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.