Medjet Update: TSA PreCheck Program
By: John Gobbels
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced on October 4th that it began testing a limited, voluntary passenger pre-screening initiative with a small known traveler population at four U.S. airports. The TSA PreCheck initiative implements a key component of the agency’s intelligence-driven, risk-based approach to security. This pilot program will help assess measures designed to enhance security by placing more focus on pre-screening individuals who volunteer information about themselves prior to flying in order to potentially expedite the travel experience.
During this pilot, TSA will use pre-screening capabilities to make intelligence-based risk assessments on passengers who voluntarily participate in the TSA PreCheck program and are flying domestically from one of the four pilot sites: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, Dallas/Fort Worth International and Miami International airports.
Eligible participants include certain frequent flyers from American Airlines and Delta Air Lines as well as members of the Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS, who are U.S. citizens and are flying on participating airlines. If successful, TSA plans to expand the pilot to include additional airlines, as well as other airports that participate in CBP’s Global Entry program, once operationally ready.
Eligible passengers may be referred to a lane where they will experience expedited screening. TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening. TSA’s multi-layered approach to security also includes behavior detection officers, explosives-detection systems, canine teams, and federal air marshals, among other measures both seen and unseen.
As part of the agency’s risk-based security initiative, TSA is in the process of testing several other new screening initiatives including a program designed to provide positive ID verification for airline pilots and the use of expanded behavior detection techniques, in addition to the recent changes in screening procedures for children.
Only through its partnership with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and CBP is TSA able to operationalize this pre-screening pilot initiative in an effort to further strengthen aviation security.