January 31, 2017 -
The Transportation Security Administration announced that 11 new participating domestic and foreign airlines have joined the PreCheck program, which brings the total number of participating airlines to 30, according to a report by USA Today.
The newly joined international airlines include Emirates, Avianca, Sunwing Airlines, Aruba Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Spirit Airlines, Boutique Air, Southern Airways Express, Key Lime Air, Miami Air International and Xtra Airways.
TSA Precheck is an expedited security screening program for American citizens that eliminates the need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets at security checkpoints.
Applicants are checked against law enforcement, immigration and intelligence databases, with the FBI checking criminal history records using the applicant’s fingerprints, according to the TSA. MorphoTrust is currently the only enrollment services provider for TSA Precheck.
“Partnering with 11 additional airlines to offer TSA PreCheck will significantly increase our trusted traveler population, and reflects our commitment to implement the most effective aviation security,” TSA acting administrator Huban Gowadia said in a statement.
The 11 airlines join the current PreCheck program roster which includes Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Cape Air, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Lufthansa, OneJet, Seaborne Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin America and WestJet.
TSA also said it will “significantly reduce” the number of frequent fliers not enrolled in TSA PreCheck who have been occasionally receiving free expedited screening.
TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson said the move “is part of the natural progression of the TSA PreCheck program,” and said it should not lead to congestion for the non-PreCheck security lines because of the measures the agency implement last year.
These measures include converting officers from part-time to full-time, appointing more officers in response of the surges, and using more explosives-detecting canines.
“That said, TSA will monitor the operational impacts of these changes on airport checkpoints and on TSA Pre-check enrollment capabilities and adjust resources accordingly,” said Anderson.
In January 2016, Morpho reported that more than two million travelers have enrolled in the Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Precheck program through its IdentoGO centers.