Some Omaha travelers soon will be able to move through a security checkpoint at Eppley Airfield without removing as many pieces of clothing.
The Transportation Security Administration said it will expand its expedited screening program, PreCheck, to 60 new airports, including Omaha, by the end of the year.
PreCheck is a program that allows pre-approved airline travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their carry-on liquids and gels in their bags in select screening lanes.
The agency also in coming weeks will expand the number of PreCheck lanes at the 40 busiest airports where it already is available.
More than 15 million passengers have experienced TSA PreCheck since it launched in October 2011.
Passengers who qualify for PreCheck include:
>> U.S. citizens in frequent traveler programs who are invited by participating airlines, such as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. JetBlue and Southwest are also expected to begin participating when “operationally ready,” TSA officials said.
>> U.S. citizens who are members of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler program and Canadian citizens who are members of CBP’s NEXUS program.
TSA later this year also will launch a fee-based application program for PreCheck, allowing more U.S. citizens to enroll in the program. The process will allow U.S. citizens to apply for expedited screening without a passport by filling out an application online and verifying identity and providing fingerprints at a TSA PreCheck enrollment center, according to TSA’s website.
The enrollment fee of $85 will allow for five years of eligibility. TSA expects the vetting process to take about two or three weeks. The first two enrollment locations, Washington Dulles International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport, will open this fall with plans for additional enrollment sites nationwide.
In Omaha, the PreCheck lane will be at Eppley’s south checkpoint in Terminal A.
“Wait times at the south checkpoint average less than 10 minutes, even during peak travel periods,” a TSA official said. “We don’t expect that to change.
A TSA PreCheck indicator will be embedded in the barcode of the boarding pass so that, when scanned at the checkpoint, the passenger may be referred to a PreCheck security lane. Many participating airlines also print a PreCheck indicator on the boarding pass so passengers know in advance they have been cleared for expedited screening.
TSA said that it will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and that no individual is guaranteed expedited screening.