Mark A Ivener, A Law Corporation

Passenger Pre-Screening Initiative Expands to Additional Airports

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on February 8, 2012, the expansion of TSA Pre?™, a passenger pre-screening initiative, to additional airports across the country following its launch at seven pilot locations.

More than 336,000 passengers have been screened through TSA Pre?™ lanes. Under this initiative, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) focuses its efforts on passengers the agency knows less about while providing expedited screening for travelers who volunteer information about themselves before flying.

TSA Administrator John S. Pistole said the agency is moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to “a more intelligence-driven, risk-based transportation security system.”

TSA Pre?™ is currently operating with American Airlines at airports in Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles, and with Delta Air Lines at airports in Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, and Minneapolis. US Airways, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines are all opting in new passengers and will begin operations later this year. TSA will continue expanding TSA Pre?™ to additional airlines and airports as they are ready.

Eligible participants include certain frequent flyers from participating airlines as well as members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Trusted Traveler programs (Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS) who are U.S. citizens and fly on a participating airline. If TSA determines a passenger is eligible for expedited screening following 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 security checkpoint and then may refer the passenger to a TSA Pre?™ lane, where they will undergo expedited screening, which could mean no longer removing certain items, such as shoes, laptops, light outerwear, belts, and 311-compliant bags from carry-ons.

TSA said it will continue to “incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport” and that no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening. As part of the agency’s risk-based security initiative, TSA is testing several other screening initiatives related to providing positive ID verification for airline pilots and the use of expanded behavior detection techniques.

Additional Resources:

  • The announcement, which includes a list of airport locations where TSA Pre?™ will be implemented in 2012 (link).
  • Those interested in participating in the pilot may apply via Global Entry at

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About the Author

Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.