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AAS Electronic Announcement #197 - June 2009

Mailed on 10 June 2009

CONTENTS:

1. TSA RULE CHANGE AFFECTS ALL AIRLINE RESERVATIONS

2. LOCAL CONGRESSIONAL VISITS IN AUGUST

3. JOHN BAHCALL PUBLIC POLICY FELLOWSHIP

4. OPTING OUT OF AAS PUBLICATIONS
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1. TSA RULE CHANGE AFFECTS ALL AIRLINE RESERVATIONS

On 15 May, the Transportation Security Administration instituted the first phase of its new Secure Flight program, in which TSA will take over from the airlines the task of matching passengers names against the government's terror watch list.

This means all passengers must now make airline reservations using their full name as it appears on the government-issued ID they will show at the airport. (And travelers ought to make sure that name format also matches the one in their frequent flyer account information, to ensure there are no problems in earning mileage credit.)

In announcing the change, TSA sought to reassure flyers that in the weeks to come, failure to adhere to this rule won't mean they'll be denied boarding. "In the near future, small differences between the passenger's ID and the passenger's reservation information, such as the use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all, will not be an issue for passengers," the agency said. However, "Over time, passengers should strive to obtain consistency between the name on their government-issued ID and the travel information they use for booking flights." The next phase of Secure Flight will take effect August 15, TSA said; that's when passengers will have to start giving their date of birth and gender when they make airline reservations.

The government has another rule change for travelers coming up as well. Effective June 1, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative regulations will require all U.S. and Canadian citizens to present a passport or other single document that denotes both identity and citizenship when they enter the U.S. by land or sea. The new rule was applied to air travelers in early 2007. The change means that a pair of documents proving identity and citizenship, like a driver's license and birth certificate, will no longer be acceptable. For more information, go to www.GetYouHome.gov.
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2. LOCAL CONGRESSIONAL VISITS IN AUGUST

Again this year, the AAS is organizing a "Local Congressional Visit Day" - actually the month of August which is the summer congressional district work period. Like last year, the AAS will help organize leave-behinds, as well as conduct one or more conference calls with participants before they make their visits to local, district-based offices. If you would like to participate, please fill out the online form: http://aas.org/policy/localvisits09_form

Additional information will be sent to those who have filled out the form by 1 July. For questions, please contact Marcos Huerta, huerta at aas.org
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3. JOHN BAHCALL PUBLIC POLICY FELLOWSHIP

The John Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship is a postdoc-level position at the AAS Executive Office leading the Society's public policy efforts. The position is still open for applications through the end of June. The exact start date is open, but the Society hopes to have someone on-board by September. If you are interested in applying, please see the Job Register listing at http://members.aas.org/JobReg/JobRegister.cfm . If you have any questions about the position, please contact Kevin Marvel, kevin.marvel at aas.org.
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4. OPTING OUT OF AAS PUBLICATIONS

If you would no longer like to receive paper copies of the AAS Newsletter, the AAS Membership Directory, or the AAS Calendar, please send an email to address at aas.org. To unsubscribe from AAS emails, contact address at aas.org
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An American Astronomical Society (AAS) Electronic Announcement is mailed to all members around the 10th of each month. Included are important items that do not fit into the schedule of the AAS Newsletter. Because of volume, Meeting Announcements are generally not included.

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