The Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) expedited security screening program, PreCheck, is supposed to be reserved for travelers who have been pre-screened for security risks. That hasn't always been the case, however. Thanks to a practice known as "managed inclusion," TSA agents have sometimes allowed non-PreCheck travelers to use PreCheck security lanes in order to ease congestion at TSA checkpoints.
As of September, that practice is extinct.
"TSA routinely evaluates the effectiveness of airport checkpoint screening procedures at all U.S. airports to ensure the security of travelers. TSA has recently eliminated the practice of utilizing behavior detection officers and explosive trace detection sampling to direct certain passengers into TSA PreCheck expedited screening lanes, a practice known as 'Managed Inclusion II,'" TSA spokesperson Mike England told The Washington Post
Continued England: "Overall, the agency is now moving toward offering TSA PreCheck expedited screening only to trusted and pre-vetted travelers enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program, and is working with a number or partners to expand enrollment in the program. Aviation security employs multiple layers, both seen and unseen, to ensure the safety of the traveling public, and TSA constantly tests and challenges this system in order to enhance capabilities and improve techniques as threats evolve."
According to U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow, the travel industry supports the change.
"The travel community was briefed by TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger on the elimination of 'managed inclusion' and supported it, but with a caveat: that Congress and the Administration continue to emphasize and provide resources for expanding the PreCheck program, which has been a powerful tool for making travel both more secure and more expedient," Dow said in a statement
. "Screening travelers to eliminate them as risks before they even get to the airport, as the PreCheck program does, simultaneously boosts both the security and efficiency of travel -- exactly the kind of innovative approach our modern age demands. The fact that 'managed inclusion' existed in the first place was an acknowledgment that our screening procedures needed to become more streamlined, but the time had come to get rid of it because there are clearly better options available."
Eliminating managed inclusion is expected to cause longer wait times at TSA checkpoints. However, Dow expects the wait times to be temporary.
"We thank Administrator Neffenger for his commitment to evolving and enhancing PreCheck, and our industry looks forward to working with him and TSA to help implement further improvements," he continued. "We are confident that as the agency continues to innovate, the current transitional period will soon give way to a more efficient and convenient new reality."MeetingNews Minute is now 30 Seconds to Smart. Up your meetings-industry IQ now!