Efforts to increase TSA Precheck enrollment numbers being held up
Efforts to increase TSA’s Precheck enrollment numbers are being held up by “fingerprinting squabbles”, according to a Politico report.
Most parties seem to agree that more people would participate in the trusted traveler program if they didn’t have to travel to enrollment centers and TSA’s Precheck enrollment services partner, IDEMIA, wants Congress to do away with federal rules requiring in-person appointments. Charlie Carroll, IDEMIA’s VP of enrollment services, told Politico that the move could open up the possibility of using mobile technologies like facial recognition to enroll people remotely via phones and laptops.
The trusted traveler program allows U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) to quickly move through security at U.S. airports in expedited lines without removing shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets.
But, according to Politico, IDEMIA hasn’t backtracked on its opposition to a Senate committee-approved bill, S. 1872 (115), that would establish private sector partnerships to increase the methods and capabilities available for the public to enroll in the PreCheck Program and also use non-biometric methods that it certifies are just as effective. IDEMIA is currently TSA’s sole Precheck enrollment services vendor.
The U.S. Travel Association has said a top priority should be getting multiple vendors for the program and according to the View from the Wing blog on Boarding Area, IDEMIA’s sole source contract expires in September 2018 and TSA is re-opening competition for what it calls Universal Enrollment Services (including PreCheck).
In a recent interview with World Travel and Tourism Council president and CEO Gloria Guevara said the will is strong among governments and stakeholders in the travel and tourism sector to implement biometrics to solve the travel infrastructure crunch.