Bloomberg News

TSA Grants U.S. Military Faster Airport Screening, Pistole Says

March 05, 2012

Members of the U.S. armed forces flying out of Washington’s Reagan National Airport will become eligible this month for expedited airport screening, the head of the Transportation Security Administration said.

Military personnel carrying Common Access Card identification will be able to undergo a background check before arriving at the airport, TSA Administrator John Pistole said in Washington today. They will qualify to join a TSA program in which they keep their shoes and jackets on at the airport and liquids can remain in their bags, he said.

“U.S. service members are entrusted to protect and defend our nation and its citizens with their lives, and as such TSA is recognizing that these members pose little risk to aviation security,” Pistole said in a speech at the National Press Club.

Pistole is moving security away from one-size-fits-all terminal screening lines that treat every passenger, from a small child to an elderly traveler, as a potential terrorist. He made the TSA’s expedited screening program, known as PreCheck, a top priority, bringing it to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City Feb. 28.

PreCheck passengers still proceed through screening checkpoints. They get a separate line and typically the streamlined process. The program will expand to 35 airports from seven during this calendar year.

For the general public, PreCheck members are often frequent flyers who are invited by their airlines. They agree to provide information such as flight history to the government. Interested passengers can also apply to join one of the Customs and Border Protection bureau’s trusted traveler programs and agree to undergo a background check.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Plungis in Washington at jplungis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net


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