The U.S. plans on launching a trial run of the trusted traveler program later this year, John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration, told the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.
The TSA has been under pressure to provide a security screening program for business travelers and frequent flyers that would allow them to undergo security backgrounds screenings so they could move quickly through airport checkpoints.
Pistole said the TSA would work first with U.S. carriers and expects to start a trial process this fall. Pistole also said that the TSA was reviewing screening procedures for children after a video of a 6-year-old being patted down went viral, with many questioning whether young children truly present a security risk.
The U.S. Travel Association, which has been lobbying for a trusted traveler program, praised the initiative. This is a risk-based trusted traveler program where travelers can opt in and voluntarily provide background information to qualify for expedited screening, similar to trusted traveler programs operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
"We are extremely pleased to hear Administrator Pistole plans to implement a trial trusted traveler program as early as this fall," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "U.S. travelers will greatly appreciate TSA's responsiveness on this issue." For more information, visit www.tsa.gov.