Friday, July 15, 2011

Known Traveler Passenger Screening Pilot

In the last several months you've heard us talking about applying more risk-based screening procedures to our security checkpoints, based upon the latest intelligence. Well, the time has come and in the Fall, we will begin a passenger screening pilot for a select group of travelers who volunteer more information about themselves. If we can confirm a person's identity and learn a little more about them through information they opt to provide, and then combine that information with our other layers of security, we can strengthen air travel security for all Americans while at the same time speeding up the screening process for those participating in the pilot.

During the first phase of testing, certain frequent fliers and certain members of CBP's Trusted Traveler programs, including members of Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS, who are U.S. citizens will be eligible to participate in this pilot, which could qualify them for expedited screening.

At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County airports, certain frequent fliers from Delta Air Lines and certain members of CBP's Trusted Traveler programs who are U.S. citizens and who are also flying on Delta will be eligible to participate in the pilot.

At Miami International and Dallas Fort Worth International airports, certain frequent fliers from American Airlines and certain members of CBP's Trusted Traveler programs who are U.S. citizens and who are also flying on American will be eligible.

TSA plans to expand this pilot to include United Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines, as well as additional airports, once operationally ready. If this pilot proves successful, it would help us focus our resources on higher-risk and unknown passengers, while expediting screening for lower-risk and known passengers whenever possible.

Only those passengers who initially agree to "opt in" from those populations will have the opportunity to participate at this time. And of course, passengers are always subject to random, unpredictable screening measures and at no point would participation in this pilot automatically qualify a passenger for permanent expedited screening. 

This will very much be a work in progress. It's important to remember that this is starting off as a pilot program - an effort to validate our ideas on how to move forward. But, if successful it is a substantial shift away from the one size fits all and we think you'll like it. 

TSA Blog Team

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