A pilot program for expediting screening of “trusted travelers” will launch this fall at select airports, TSA Administrator John S. Pistole told aviation stakeholders today.
At airports in Miami, Dallas, Atlanta, and Detroit, frequent fliers and members of CBP's Trusted Traveler programs would qualify for expedited screening at certain checkpoints. TSA plans to expand the pilot as more airports become operational. The travelers must be U.S. citizens.
“This pilot initiative will help inform TSA’s next steps as the agency considers future risk-based, intelligence-driven security measures that would enable travelers to volunteer more information about themselves prior to flying,” a TSA press release says. Travelers in the voluntary program will still be subject to other security checks and random screening, but will be able to pass through security faster.
Pre-screening is predicted to help make the experience more enjoyable for travelers, but Bennie Thompson, ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, warns that TSA must ensure the program doesn't dilute security.
"I continue to believe that any system for expedited flight crew screening should include flight attendants – and biometrics should also be a part of the equation for identity verification," Thompson said in a statement Thursday afternoon . "At the same time, TSA must focus on enhancing technology and training with respect to identifying fraudulent travel documents and identifications."
photo by midorisyu from flickr