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September 6, 2013

GBTA, U.S. Travel & A4A Cheer TSA's PreCheck Expansion

airport securityThe Global Business Travel Association applauded the announcement by the Transportation Security Administration to expand its TSA expedited screening program to 60 new airports in addition to the existing 40, bringing the total number of airports with TSA PreCheck  to 100. 

Other industry groups like the U.S. Travel Association and Airlines for America also praised the expansion.

“As TSA continues to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to transportation security, we are looking for more opportunities to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way possible,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. “Expanding TSA Precheck to more locations enables many more passengers across the country to experience expedited screening.”

GBTA noted the additional airports will allow more pre-approved airline travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes. GBTA said it supports innovative government and private programs to expand TSA PreCheck enrollment. With U.S. companies investing more than $270 billion in business travel in 2013, government programs to expedite travel will increase U.S. competitiveness in a global market, the association said.

“TSA is to be commended for this rapid expansion of TSA PreCheck to 100 airports by the end of the year,” said GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick. “Quick, easy airport security checkpoint screening like TSA PreCheck saves business travelers time and money while ensuring security.” 

business traveler

U.S. Travel's Roger Dow, president and CEO, said that the travel community as a whole "applauds this move to dramatically expand the PreCheck program, which already has immensely benefitted the traveler experience while bolstering aviation security and the national economy."

Dow noted that just a decade ago, the travel industry seemed to believe that "sound security and passenger convenience" were mutually exclusive. "PreCheck has given us the evidence that that's not the case. By letting low-risk passengers pre-submit their personal information to speed up the screening process, TSA has provided the tools to get passengers through the nation's airports more quickly and safely. Given that travel is a $2.0 trillion industry that supports one out of every eight jobs, PreCheck is a program that benefits not just travelers, but the country as a whole."

"We in the industry stand ready to assist with the next crucial step: building up passenger participation and enrollment well beyond the 15 million travelers who have already availed themselves of the service," Dow added.

A4A said expansion will more than double the number of U.S. airports with expedited screening lanes to a total of 100 locations by the end of 2013. TSA officials noted more than 15 million passengers have used TSA PreCheck since it launched in October 2011.

A4A said it has consistently advocated for programs that take a risk-based approach to security, including TSA PreCheck and Known Crewmember, which enable TSA to focus its resources on greater threats, enhancing safety and security while making travel more efficient and convenient for customers.

“Expanding the TSA PreCheck program to 100 U.S. airports will greatly improve the overall travel experience by enabling more passengers to benefit from expedited screening procedures across the country,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “We applaud DHS for continuing to advance risk-based solutions that make travel more convenient and enjoyable for the traveling public, while enhancing safety and security.”

The Details

Passengers who are eligible for TSA PreCheck include U.S. citizens of frequent traveler programs invited by participating airlines. Additionally, U.S. citizens who are members of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler program and Canadian citizens who are members of CBP’s NEXUS program qualify to participate. Later this year TSA will launch an application program, allowing more U.S. citizens to enroll in TSA PreCheck, the TSA said.

Eligible passengers traveling on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America may receive expedited screening benefits. JetBlue and Southwest are expected to begin participating when operationally ready, TSA said.

If a passenger is eligible for expedited screening, a TSA PreCheck indicator will be embedded in the barcode of the boarding pass so that when scanned at the checkpoint, the passenger may be referred to a TSA PreCheck lane, TSA said.

Many participating airlines already print a TSA PreCheck indicator directly on the boarding pass so passengers will know in advance they have been cleared for expedited screening. TSA said  it will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport. No individual will be guaranteed expedited screening.

Visit www.TSA.gov for more information.

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