Since 9/11, the security checks at U.S. airports are increased and are taking longer time with long queues. In 2011, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began implementing a series of risk-based security initiatives that moved away from the one-size-fits-all approach to passenger screening. The vision of risk-based security is to increase aviation security by focusing on high-risk and unknown passengers while providing an expedited experience for known or “Trusted Travelers.”
A key element of this strategy is TSA Pre✓®, a program that expedites screening for low risk passengers departing from more than 150 U.S. airports with no need to remove their shoes, belts or light outerwear/jacket. Passengers in TSA Pre✓® are also not required to remove their laptops or liquids from their carry-on bags.
Individuals who enroll in TSA Pre✓® choose to provide information that allows TSA to review their background and categorize them as low-risk passengers. This enables the agency to allocate resources that focus on passengers about which less is known. Thus, they contribute to strengthening aviation security, while passengers experience a smarter, improved, efficient and predictable airport experience.
TSA is making refinements to the program in 2015 and beyond to ensure that those who have enrolled and received a Known Traveler Number (KTN) will continue to experience expedited screening on a consistent basis. For those passengers who have been selected for TSA Pre✓® without having actually enrolled in a trusted traveler program - TSA Pre✓® application program, Global Entry, NEXUS or SENTRI - will begin to notice a reduction in the frequency of this benefit this calendar year.
Consequently, TSA is encouraging enrollment in one of the four trusted traveler programs offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These programs have benefits that are based on the passenger’s individual travel needs, and all include TSA Pre✓® eligibility. Applying for one of these programs will result in travelers receiving TSA Pre✓® on a more consistent basis. For a comparison of these programs, see the attached grid or visit www.DHS.gov/tt.