BASED SECURITY TO
The way passengers process
through the nation’s airports is
changing, challenging airport
operators to keep traffic moving
efficiently while contending with
increased numbers of travelers
and federal budget constraints on
security screening methods.
By Mark Crosby, A.A.E.
PHOTO BY JIM MARTIN
The challenge for airports isn’t caused solely by TSA
security screening lines. The front of the terminal
ticket lobby is evolving as new technology allows
travelers to self check-in and offers them the ability
to self bag-tag. This permits passengers to reach the
screening lanes faster, and this speed means that for
travelers the checkpoint now is likely the most time-consuming part of the pre-boarding process.
TSA’s move to a risk-based security (RBS) program is aimed at alleviating this potential logjam
and is welcomed. For the airport community, however, several more steps are needed to make the
new screening protocols sustainable and worthwhile in the airport environment.
PreCheck, TSA’s latest risk-based pre-screening
initiative, will significantly improve the throughput
of checkpoints only if the pool of eligible passen-
gers is expanded. PreCheck is a partnership among
TSA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
and a number of U.S. airlines. Certain frequent fly-
ers from Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, United,
US Airways and certain members of CBP’s Trusted
Traveler programs, including Global Entry, SENTRI,
and NEXUS who are U.S. citizens, are eligible to
participate. TSA has stated that its goal is to enroll
70 percent of passengers in PreCheck. Currently, less
than 10 percent of passengers are in the program.
Together, we have to find ways to bridge this gap and
appreciably raise the percentage of passengers eli-
gible for and participating in PreCheck.