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Synchronize no-fly list with passenger manifests: NY senator

An undated photo of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

An undated photo of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaking at a news conference. Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Thursday called for the Transportation Security Administration to instantaneously synchronize the federal no-fly list with airlines' flight manifests.

Her call comes a day after the Obama administration ordered airlines to check names added to no-fly lists against flight manifests every two hours, rather than every 24 hours. Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) told Newsday the new standard is an improvement but not good enough.

"We have the technology to do this instantaneously," she said. "It's not that difficult to do."

The senator said the federal government ought to build the technology to create the automatically updating system which, she said, would link flight manifests to the no-fly list just as the airlines link their seat availabilities to travel websites.

"If the airlines can automatically coordinate with Travelocity they should be able to do this," Gillibrand told Newsday. "Two hours is better than 24 hours, but if we can do this instantaneously we should."

On Wednesday Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on the TSA to flag any passenger who pays cash for a ticket - as did accused Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad - but Gillibrand said it would be difficult to implement such a system because much of the world still uses cash for all transactions.

"It certainly is a red flag in the U.S.," she said. "But in Africa they only use cash. The statistic is one-third of all passengers worldwide use cash to pay for tickets."

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