For travelers who have signed up for the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) expedited security screening program, PreCheck, there's nothing more frustrating than TSA agents who allow non-PreCheck travelers to use PreCheck security lanes. If passed, a new bill would outlaw that practice, called "managed inclusion."
Introduced last week by Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), John Katko (R-NY), and Kathleen Rice (D-NY), the Securing Expedited Screening Act (H.R. 2127) would direct TSA to "make expedited screening available only to individuals that are vetted participants in the PreCheck program and other known or vetted passengers."
While travelers object to the principle of managed inclusion-it's wrong, they feel, that some travelers get to enjoy all the perks of PreCheck with none of the obligations-lawmakers object to it because of the possible security gaps it creates: Registered PreCheck travelers have passed a background check; non-registered travelers have not.
"Expedited screening can be a critical aspect to our layered aviation security infrastructure but it must be employed using proven methods that do not create security gaps," Thompson said in a statement. "I do not have confidence that TSA's use of random or case-by-case, on-site security risk assessments to identify passengers for expedited screening is keeping us secure. That is why I introduced legislation today to limit expedited screening to certain, known low-risk groups."
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) applauded the bill.
"The Global Business Travel Association applauds Reps. Bennie Thompson, John Katko, and Kathleen Rice for sponsoring legislation that would further secure our aviation system by ending the practice of managed inclusion in PreCheck," said GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick. PreCheck and other risk-based programs are essential for those business travelers who travel the most, as delays getting through airport security cost them time and money, but in order for the program to be truly secure, all passengers must go through the same vetting process. It's time to put an end to this practice, which confers all the benefits of PreCheck without requiring any of the burdens."
TSA PreCheck allows eligible fliers who pass a background check in advance of flying to pass more quickly through security checkpoints by utilizing an expedited screening lane that does not require passengers to remove their shoes, belts, coats, laptops, or carry-on toiletries. To date, more than a million travelers have enrolled in the program.
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