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Tuesday
Oct042011

TSA Expedites Security Screening for Select Fliers

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) is rolling out a new pilot program Tuesday aimed at speeding the security screening process for known travelers.

The process, called PreCheck, is available on a trial basis to a select group of frequent fliers from Delta Airlines and American Airlines. Members of the Customs and Border Patrol’s “Trusted Traveler” program will also be eligible.

Passengers will be asked by their airline if they want to “opt-in” to the program. Those who choose to do so will provide additional information about themselves, and the TSA will use that information to determine if the passenger qualifies for expedited screening. If the passenger qualifies, he or she will be directed to a designated security lane at the airport. That expedited screening could mean certain fliers get to leave their shoes on.

TSA officials caution that PreCheck is in its infancy and only available at one check point in each of the four participating airports. And the agency maintains that expedited screening is by no means guaranteed and notes on its website, “Passengers are always subject to random, unpredictable screening measures.”

The program is now underway at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, Miami International and Dallas-Fort Worth International airports. The Known Traveler program is part of a broader TSA effort to evolve its screening process.

TSA Administrator John Pistole has publicly stated he wants to move the agency away from a “one size fits all” approach to a more risk-based effort. In an interview with ABC News conducted in prior to the 9/11 anniversary last month, TSA’s Pistole touched on such new efforts while discussing the evolution of the terror threat against the United States.

“We are trying a number of new initiatives that will ask for the public’s patience as we try to improve the passenger experience, while providing the most effective security,” Pistole said.

“But we have to be mindful that there are terrorist(s) who are trying to kill us and we need to do the best possible job and provide the most effective security in the most efficient way.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio