TSA To Begin
"Trusted Traveler" Pilot Program
By Jim Douglas
July 17, 2011 - Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John S. Pistole this week spoke with the aviation community to provide an update on TSA’s ongoing efforts to implement risk-based, intelligence-driven security measures.
part of the discussion, Pistole provided details on the
agency’s plan to conduct a pilot program in the coming
months to enhance TSA’s identity-based, pre-flight
screening capabilities and provide trusted travelers
with expedited screening.
“These improvements will enable our officers to focus
their efforts on higher risk areas,” said TSA
Administrator John S. Pistole. “Enhancing identity-based
screening is another common sense step in the right
direction as we continue to strengthen overall security,
and improve the passenger experience whenever possible.”
informed industry that as part of a pilot beginning this fall,
TSA will test enhancements to TSA's pre-flight, identity-based
screening capabilities through a partnership with U.S. Customs
and Border Protection (CBP) as well as U.S. air carriers.
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 select checkpoints at certain
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.
Administrator Pistole will work with CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin and the airlines to determine passenger eligibility for this screening pilot, which is limited to U.S. citizens and is voluntary. As part of the pilot, these passengers may be eligible for expedited screening at the aforementioned airports. All passengers in this pilot are subject to recurrent security checks and random screening.
initiative will help inform TSA’s next steps as the agency considers
future risk-based, intelligence-driven security measures that would
enable travelers to volunteer more information about themselves prior to
Administrator Pistole reiterated that TSA will continue to incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening. He further explained that airport security checkpoints are only one part of a multi-layered system for aviation security. Other layers of security, both seen and unseen by the public, include intelligence gathering and analysis, explosive-detection canine teams, federal air marshals, closed-circuit television monitoring and behavior detection officers.
The U.S. Travel
Association applauded the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA)
announcement that it will pilot a "trusted traveler" program generally
aligned with the Association's March 2011 recommendation. TSA's program
is expected to test enhancements to TSA's pre-flight, identity-based
screening capabilities through a partnership with U.S. Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. air carriers.
Administrator Pistole's courage to find a better way to conduct air
travel security screening," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the
U.S. Travel Association. "While this program will be limited at the
outset, it is a strong start. We look forward to working with TSA to
move our nation's air travel security away from today's
According to the TSA, certain frequent travelers of American and Delta Air Lines and certain members of CBP's existing trusted traveler programs traveling through Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit and Miami will be eligible to participate in the pilot. TSA is expected to expand the pilot to include United Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines, as well as additional airports, once operationally ready.
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