TSA shares Registered Traveler details

The Transportation Security Administration revealed today biometrics requirements and other information about Registered Traveler, its voluntary credentialing program for frequent flyers.

Scheduled to start screening passengers nationally June 20, Registered Traveler is intended to speed more travelers through airport security checks. The program also aims to reduce the number of passengers that screeners must check by designating qualified participants as low-risk.

The program is a partnership between TSA and the private sector, based on a successful pilot test in Orlando, Fla. The agency performs the screening while private entities handle customer service and marketing, said Darrin Kayser, a TSA spokesman.

Registered Traveler enrollment vendors will have to collect 10 fingerprints as part of the application, Kayser said. Card vendors will have to follow federal smart card guidelines set out in the Federal Technical Implementation Guidance.

Vendors must store biometric data according to standards set by the American National Standards Institute/International Committee for Information Technology Standards. They must handle all data using safeguards that privacy laws mandate.

TSA will eventually participate in a governmentwide, consolidated traveler screening redress program that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff announced Jan. 17.

Until then, TSA’s Office of Transportation Security Redress will continue to provide a second chance to applicants denied entry into the program or participants who have had their eligibility revoked, Kayser said.

TSA also announced other aspects of the program. It will set minimum security standards for assessing the security risk of applicants and will provide additional benefits for participants who undergo more thorough investigations.

To keep terrorists guessing, the program’s benefits will periodically change, and Registered Traveler participants will still be subject to additional random screening.

TSA is willing to dedicate lines or space to Registered Traveler vendors that want to buy approved screening equipment, hire more screeners or create alternate screening locations.

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