Grassroots Campaign To Improve Airport Passenger Security Screening


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Grassroots Campaign To Improve Airport Passenger Security Screening

By Jim Douglas

April 14, 2011 - On Wednesday the U.S. Travel Association is launching a national grassroots campaign to urge Congress to implement a trusted traveler program. Eighty percent of travelers surveyed say there should be a nationwide trusted traveler program that provides alternative screening measures at airports for American citizens who submit to background checks and meet other criteria. 

"Travelers encounter too much hassle at our nation's airports, and it's time for Congress to act," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "A one size fits all approach to security is inefficient. If Congress implements a trusted traveler program, we'll see more Americans traveling and that will create more American jobs." 

Travelers would take an average of two to three more trips a year if the hassle could be reduced without compromising security effectiveness. These additional trips could add $84.6 billion in spending and 888,000 more jobs.

The "Be Trusted" campaign is a national grassroots campaign advocating Congressional implementation of a trusted traveler program. The campaign will include advertisements in newspapers and airports, social media, events at airports, an advocacy website and toll-free number to connect travelers directly with members of Congress, and an online petition. 

A trusted traveler program that utilizes true risk management is a key recommendation of U.S. Travel's recent report on aviation security. The recommendation calls for the creation of a tightly controlled enrollment program and re-verification process, a confirmation process at the airport that ensures only enrolled individuals are utilizing the trusted traveler screening lanes, and a checkpoint process that reflects the low-risk nature of the traveler. 

Tom Ridge, former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and co-chair of the U.S. Travel Association's Blue Ribbon Panel on Aviation Security said in the report, "We've been talking for years about establishing a screening system that takes risk into account. Creating a trusted traveler program is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to control the cost of aviation security."

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