Bill aims to speed frequent fliers through security
The agency would be more involved in the traveler registration program.
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Jun 08, 2009
Legislation to reauthorize the Transportation Security Administration passed by the House strengthens the TSA’s role in the Registered Traveler program for frequent fliers, a business group says.
Registered Traveler is run by private vendors in cooperation with TSA and airports. It offers airline travelers a chance to avoid long lines at security by using designated security lanes. Members enroll and undergo a vetting process in advance and then display an identification card and verify a fingerprint or iris at the participating airport. The travelers pay an annual fee for the benefits.
Under a provision in the House bill approved June 4, TSA would be required to consider how Registered Traveler can be integrated into "risk-based aviation security operations," according to the National Business Travel Association (NBTA). TSA also must reinstate security threat assessments and background checks for Registered Traveler participants and review screening protocols "to realize the full potential of the Registered Traveler Program," the association said.
“NBTA has supported the Registered Travel program since before its inception and has pushed for improvement and expansion over the years. I urge the Senate to take up this bill with included [Registered Traveler] language to not only improve TSA’s security mission, but also to provide greater efficiency to business travelers throughout the nation,” NBTA President Kevin Maguire said June 5.
Verified Identity Pass Inc., which has signed up more than 260,000 travelers through Registered Traveler, said it also supports the provision.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.