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TSA moves to expand use of faster airport screening lines

July 19, 2013|By Hugo Martin

For an $85 fee, you can apply with the Transportation Security Administration to use the faster airport screening lines that were previously reserved for frequent fliers.

TSA chief John Pistole announced Friday a program to allow more travelers use the so-called PreCheck lines, which are available at 40 airports across the country.

Travelers going through the PreCheck lines can avoid routine security measures, such as removing shoes, belts and coats and taking laptop computers out of their cases.

Until now, travelers could only apply to use PreCheck if they were members of certain airline frequent flier programs or were enrolled in "trusted traveler" programs with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

The expansion is part of the TSA's efforts to focus more attention on high-risk travelers and cut back on the screening time spent on frequent travelers.

"This initiative will increase the number of U.S. citizens eligible to receive expedited screening, through TSA PreCheck," Pistole said. “TSA PreCheck enables us to focus on the travelers we know the least about, adding efficiency and effectiveness to the screening process."

The expansion will be tested first at Washington Dulles International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport, with plans to expand enrollment nationwide.

Travelers who pay the $85 must submit to fingerprinting and a background check. Applicants who are cleared by the TSA are enrolled to use the PreCheck lines for five years.

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