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Easier Screening Coming to Houston

March 1, 2012

© Houston Airport System
The new program from TSA will soon be in place at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
A new passenger screening program, designed to make the check-in process more convenient, will soon be in place at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

The program, recently made available to 28 U.S. airports including IAH, allows participating passengers to avoid removing their shoes and belts as they make their way through the security screening process.

Under the “TSA Pre Check” program, eligible travelers have the option of volunteering additional personal information prior to their arrival at the airport.

This allows federal screeners an opportunity to review them for security purposes before their departure date, allowing for greater ease of access on the day of their particular flight.

“Good, thoughtful, sensible security by its very nature facilitates lawful travel and legitimate commerce,” says Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The program, which is already in a test phase in seven other airports, allows participating passengers to walk through a dedicated lane at airport security checkpoints.

They present a specially-marked boarding pass to screeners with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and as a result of the pre-screening, they’re more likely going to be allowed to keep on belts, shoes and jackets.

They’re also less likely to be asked to remove items from their bag, such as laptops and liquids. TSA officials say during the program’s testing phase, approximately 336,000 passengers have been screened using the new procedures. Now that same approach is being expanded to include dozens of airports located across the country.

“We are pleased to expand this important effort, in collaboration with our airline and airport partners, as we move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more intelligence-driven, risk-based transportation security system,” says TSA administrator John Pistole.

The test program has involved frequent fliers with American Airlines and Delta Airlines, but Pistole says he expects to see frequent fliers with additional airlines, including United Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines, participating in the program by the end of 2012.

TSA representatives in Houston are finalizing details for program implementation at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.  They say they're hopeful that a start date can be announced in the near future.
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