BOSTON Feb 8 A pilot program that moves
passengers through pre-flight security screening more quickly if
they volunteer information about themselves in advance is set to
expand to 28 of the nation's busiest airports, U.S. officials
said on Wednesday.
The expedited screening program will grow throughout 2012
from seven pilot locations to all three major airports in the
New York City area, the three in the Washington, D.C., area and
others including Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix
and Denver, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration
Certain frequent flyers and people enrolled in the Customs
and Border Protection's Trusted Traveler programs may no longer
have to take off their shoes, pull laptops from cases and remove
belts and coats when passing through security, the TSA said.
To date, more than 336,000 travelers have passed through the
expedited screening lanes tested at airports in Dallas, Miami,
Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Detroit, it
American Airlines and Delta Air Lines
have been participating at certain pilot locations, the TSA
said, and US Airways, United Airlines and Alaska
Airlines will join the operations later this year.
Passengers eligible for the expedited screening will have
already been vetted and have information embedded in the barcode
of their boarding passes, which might trigger the TSA to send
them to an alternate security lane.
The TSA said the program is a way to make airport security
more "intelligence-driven" rather than a "one-size-fits-all
approach" to assessing passenger risk.
The TSA has come under pressure to tailor airport security
screening to focus on higher risks, particularly after
complaints last year that young children and the elderly were
being unnecessarily scrutinized.
No passenger, however, is guaranteed expedited screening,
the TSA said, and random security measures will remain
throughout the airport.