TSA Begins Expedited Screening At McCarran International Airport


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TSA Begins Expedited Screening At McCarran International Airport

By Eddy Metcalf

December 14, 2011 - Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John S. Pistole announced on Wednesday the start of TSA Pre operations at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport, and that US Airways will offer TSA Pre to eligible passengers in early 2012. These initiatives mark the implementation of more key components of the agency’s intelligence-driven, risk-based approach to security. 

The TSA Pre initiative enhances 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.  

“I am encouraged by the positive passenger feedback and early results from this risk-based security initiative, and look forward to working with our airline and airport partners as we continue expanding and testing this concept,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole.  

“This system enables our officers to expedite the screening process for passengers we know the most about, while better focusing their efforts on higher-risk and unknown passengers. As we continue to implement a system with multiple layers of security to keep the traveling public safe, we are dedicated to providing the most effective security in the most efficient way.” 

If TSA determines a passenger is eligible for expedited screening through the TSA Pre vetting process, information will be embedded in the barcode of the passenger’s boarding pass. TSA will read the barcode at the checkpoint and the passenger may be referred to a lane where they will undergo expedited screening, which could include no longer removing the following items; Shoes, 3-1-1 compliant bag from carry-on, Laptop from bag, Light outerwear/jacket and Belt. 

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. 

TSA uses pre-screening capabilities to make intelligence-based risk assessments on passengers who voluntarily opt in to the TSA Pre program and are flying domestically out of a participating airport, on a participating airline. Currently 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.


Approximately 140,000 passengers have been screened through TSA Pre since it began in October at Dallas/Fort Worth International, Miami International, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airports. TSA recently announced plans to expand the program for passengers flying on Delta out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and flying on American at Los Angeles International Airport in early 2012.

In addition to US Airways, TSA recently announced that United Airlines will be participating in TSA Pre, with timing and participating airports to be announced at a future date. Building on its initial success, TSA will continue expanding the pilot to include additional airlines, as well as other airports that participate in CBP’s Global Entry program, once operationally ready.  

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.

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