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TSA PreCheck Program to Expand

Expansion of the prescreening program will hasten airport security screening … for some

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John S. Pistole announced Feb. 8 the expansion of TSA Pre√™, a passenger prescreening program, to additional airports nationwide following the initiative’s success at seven pilot locations.

Once enrolled, this could mean passengers don’t have to remove their shoes, coats, or belts could keep laptop computers and liquids in their carry-on luggage, and wear a light jacket.

“TSA PreCheck moves us closer to our goal of delivering the most effective and efficient screening by recognizing that most passengers do not pose a threat to security.”

“TSA PreCheck moves us closer to our goal of delivering the most effective and efficient screening by recognizing that most passengers do not pose a threat to security,” said Pistole. “We are pleased to expand this important effort, in collaboration with our airline and airport partners, as we move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more intelligence-driven, risk-based transportation security system.”

This screening concept enhances aviation security by enabling TSA to focus its efforts on passengers the agency knows less about while providing expedited screening for travelers who volunteer information about themselves prior to flying.

TSA PreCheck Program

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials at the Denver International Airport security checkpoint have been highlighted to help us reflect on how we have been changed by the 9/11 attacks on the United States. On Feb. 8, TSA announced it is expanding its TSA PreCheck program, which is designed, in part, to expedite the screening process for some at the nation’s airports. The agency instituted the pilot to move away from a one-for-all approach to airport security. Photo by Peter Stanley

“Good, thoughtful, sensible security by its very nature facilitates lawful travel and legitimate commerce,” Napolitano said.

About 336,000 passengers have been screened through the program since the pilot began on Oct. 4, 2011, according to TSA.

“Good, thoughtful, sensible security by its very nature facilitates lawful travel and legitimate commerce.”

The concept is currently operating with American Airlines at airports in Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles; and with Delta Air Lines at airports in Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, and Minneapolis. US Airways, United Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines are all “opting in” new passengers and will begin operations later this year.

As part of the initiative’s expansion, PreCheck will be implemented throughout 2012 at 28 locations – including the three used by the hijackers in the 9/11 terrorist attacks:

Qualified participants include certain frequent flyers from participating airlines as well as members of Customs and Border Protection’s Trusted Traveler programs (Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS) who are U.S. citizens and share background information with the TSA.

If TSA determines a passenger is eligible for expedited screening following the PreCheck vetting process, information will be embedded into the barcode of the traveler’s boarding pass. Members of the program will be steered to a dedicated line, a kind of “e-pass lane” for fliers, for quicker passage through security.

Individuals interested in participating in the program can apply via Global Entry, which also requires a non-refundable fee.

The Los Angeles Times reports that passengers interviewed at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, one of the airports to offer the program this year, had mixed feelings. Some travelers said they would have no trouble giving the government background information if it meant saving time at the airport terminal. But others worried that the program may make air travel more vulnerable to terrorists and some fliers complained that the program is designed for frequent travelers, not for occasional fliers.

TSA plans to continue expanding PreCheck to additional airlines and airports once they are operationally ready.

Napolitano called the expansion of the program “part of a fundamental shift in how we approach aviation security. … Our experience over the past several years has made us smarter about the evolving threats we face and how best to deal with them.”

TSA plans to continue expanding PreCheck to additional airlines and airports once they are operationally ready.

PreCheck could be a welcome option for many travelers. In recent months, the implementation and use of full-body scans and pat downs have come under protest, causing some to feel that their rights have been violated.

Still, TSA officials say they will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport, and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening. As part of the agency’s risk-based security initiative, TSA is currently testing several other screening measures, including programs designed to provide positive ID verification for airline pilots and the use of expanded behavior-detection techniques.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-22475">

    For the past year TSA has insisted that everyone must be subjected to the same security procedures, whether a child, elderly grandmother or US Senator.

    Now they are letting the privileged buy their way out of the program. TSA is saying that wealthy people are “more equal” than the rest of us. This smacks of racism and government extortion.

    If you are “invited” you must pay a fee and give them your financial information even though TSA has lost the personal information of their employees and accidentally published their secret procedures. For this you MIGHT get expedited screening but could be selected for further screening anyway. What a bargain.

    If someone can buy their way out of screening then this is all security theater that is gratuitously harassing passengers. Congress must demand that TSA adopt sensible and respectful procedures for everyone, not just the wealthy.

    TSA Crimes & Abuses
    bit.ly/TravelUndergroundTSAabuses

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-24314">

    If one of the perks is no irradiating scanner or crotch grope I am all for it.