Airport security lines may get a lot shorter at another 35 US airports after the TSA extend a pilot program that removes some of the more annoying vestiges of the post-9/11 screening regime — the requirement that people remove their shoes, belts and coats.
However, the program— dubbed PreCheck and already operating at seven airports — only applies to preapproved air travelers, most of them frequent fliers with major airlines.
According to the LA Times, PreCheck has been tested for several months at airports including Los Angeles International (LAX) to screen 336,000 passengers.
Among the airports being added are the three used by the hijackers in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Associated Press reported, naming Washington Dulles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and Boston's Logan International Airport.
Travelers eligible for the program must be US citizens and must first volunteer more personal information about themselves, such as their gender and date of birth, so that they can be security vetted.
The aim was to have TSA (Transportation Security Administration) offers spending less time scrutinizing low-risk, frequent passengers and free up resources to stop those who posed a serious threat to airline safety, the LA Times wrote.
The paper cited TSA Administrator John S. Pistole as saying the PreCheck program — along with a similar program for international travelers, called Global Entry — would help make the TSA screening process more efficient.
"Good, thoughtful, sensible security by its very nature facilitates lawful travel and legitimate commerce," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, the AP reported.