The Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) announcement of a new program at Washington Dulles and Indianapolis International Airports to allow Americans to enroll directly in PreCheck, won praise from Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. PreCheck is TSA's trusted traveler program for domestic air travelers,
"America's travel community applauds TSA for making its highly successful trusted traveler program, PreCheck, more accessible to the traveling public. PreCheck expedites security screening for pre-screened, low-risk travelers, enabling TSA to focus resources on potentially riskier unknown passengers," Dow said.
"By expanding PreCheck enrollment options, today's action by TSA will help speed more Americans safely through the U.S. air travel system while strengthening America's aviation security. It's a win-win for everyone," Dow said."The private sector can also play a pivotal role in growing enrollment in PreCheck, and we hope to work with TSA to make the program an even bigger success."
TSA's new program will enable Americans to apply for PreCheck by providing biographic data, agreeing to undergo a background check, and submitting fingerprints for identity verification. TSA plans to expand enrollment sites beyond Dulles and Indianapolis International Airports to more than 300 locations nationwide, the association said.
Until now, there were limited options for travelers to enroll in PreCheck. Passengers could join through an airline frequent flyer program, but their eligibility for expedited screening was limited to flights with that airline. They could also join through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's trusted traveler program for international air passengers, known as Global Entry, but Global Entry enrollment points are only available at major international gateway airports. Direct enrollment with TSA will make PreCheck more accessible to ordinary travelers and significantly increase participation, the association said.
In 2011, U.S Travel and a panel of travel and security experts unveiled a groundbreaking plan to improve security at America's airports and reduce the burden on travelers. The top recommendation of U.S. Travel's Blue Ribbon Panel on Aviation Security was that TSA should create a trusted traveler program and make it widely available to the traveling public. The program announced by TSA further implements the panel's recommendation, U.S. Travel said.