| WASHINGTON, Sept 4
WASHINGTON, Sept 4 The Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) said on Wednesday it would expand its
expedited screening program to 60 new U.S. airports in 2013,
allowing tens of millions of Americans to get through airport
checkpoints without taking off their shoes.
The TSA said with the expansion, the TSA PreCheck program
will operate at 100 airports across the country in 42 states
plus Guam and Puerto Rico. The agency also plans to expand the
number of TSA PreCheck lanes at the existing 40 airports in the
With TSA PreCheck, pre-approved airline travelers may leave
on their shoes, light outerwear and belt while they go through
security. They do not have to remove their laptop computers from
cases nor take out approved-sized liquids out of carry=on bags
before the bags are screened.
"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," TSA Administrator John Pistole said.
Passengers who are eligible for PreCheck include U.S.
citizens of frequent traveler programs who are invited to apply
by participating airlines. The airlines include Alaska Airlines
, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian
Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin
Additionally, U.S. citizens who are members of a Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler program and Canadian
citizens who are members of the NEXUS expedited travel program
qualify to participate.
The TSA will launch an application program later this year
for PreCheck, which lets travelers fill out an online
application and provide fingerprints. Applicants must pay an $85
enrollment fee for a five-year term of eligibility.
If a passenger is approved for PreCheck, a TSA PreCheck
indicator will be embedded in the barcode of the boarding pass
so when it is scanned at a security checkpoint, the passenger
will be sent to the expedited screening line.
TSA can revoke or suspend the PreCheck if a passenger has
had security issues at the gate or has committed a crime since
their PreCheck was granted, a TSA official said. In addition,
TSA could randomly require a PreCheck passenger to go through
The TSA said to date, more than 15 million passengers have
experienced TSA PreCheck since it was launched in October 2011.
The U.S. Travel Association, a travel industry group, has
praised the TSA for launching PreCheck and for speeding the
process through airports by removing low-risk travelers from the
regular screening process.