The Transportation Security Administration is expanding its pre-screening airport security program to 28 additional airports in 2012. NBC's Tom Costello reports.
The Transportation Security Administration is expanding PreCheck -- its pre-screening airport security program -- to 28 additional airports in 2012, the agency announced Wednesday.
The program, currently in place in seven airports, allows approved fliers to pass through security without having to remove their shoes, belt and jacket. Laptops can also stay in their bags as can TSA-approved liquids placed in carry-ons.
“The expansion of [the program] to the nation’s busiest airports will increase our security capabilities and expedite the screening process for travelers we consider our trusted partners,”said Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano in a statement.
The TSA has already screened 336,000 fliers through the program, which began last year at seven airports. Eligible participants include U.S. citizens who are frequent fliers on selected airlines. Fliers interested in participating can apply via the government's Global Entry website.
Once a flier is approved, information is then embedded in the barcode of his or her boarding pass, which is scanned at the security checkpoint, where the flier may be directed to an expedited screening lane.
Michael Schneider, the Los Angeles-based owner of Mobile Roadie, a company that helps non-techies make apps, is an American Airlines Executive Platinum flier who was invited by the airline to join the TSA’s PreCheck program a few months ago.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA Administrator John S. Pistole on Wednesday announced the expansion of TSA's passenger pre-screening program to 28 additional airports across the country.
Schneider was already a participant in Global Entry, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows pre-approved low-risk international travelers to pass through customs quickly. Schneider says participating in PreCheck only required filling out an online form.
Handing over additional personal information was worth the convenience at the airport. “I have nothing to hide," Schneider said. “And when you travel as much as I do -- 150,000 miles a year -- the little things [like] belt off, shoes off, laptop out add up to a drag.”
TSA spokesperson Greg Soule told msnbc.com that Salt Lake City, New York’s JFK, Washington’s Reagan National and Chicago’s O’Hare airports will be added to the program by the end of March. These remaining 24 airports will be added by the end of the year:
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
- Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
- Denver International Airport (DEN)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
- Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
- Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
- LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
- Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL)
- Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
- Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
- Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
- Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
- Portland International Airport (PDX)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
- Tampa International Airport (TPA)
- Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
- Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
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