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: FEATURE ARTICLE :
ATL opens first airport TSA PreCheck enrollment site in the Southeast


By Scott Henry

Hartsfield-Jackson on January 15 became the first airport in the Southeast to host an on-site application office for the Transportation Security Administration’s popular TSA PreCheck expedited screening program.

“At the world’s busiest passenger airport, we are continually working to improve the traveler experience,” says Hartsfield-Jackson Interim General Manager Miguel Southwell. “The addition of a TSA PreCheck application center at Hartsfield-Jackson will provide our customers the ability to move more quickly through the security screening process once a traveler’s application is approved.”

The expansion of the PreCheck program is a major push for the TSA, which is in the process of opening more than 300 application centers across the country in other major airports and in stand-alone sites operated by federal contractors.

The expansion of the PreCheck program is a major push for the TSA, which is in the process of opening more than 300 application centers across the country in other major airports and in stand-alone sites operated by federal contractors.

Hartsfield-Jackson was among the first four airports to pilot TSA PreCheck when the program was launched in October 2011. Until now, it’s been largely left up to individual airlines to invite frequent customers to participate in TSA PreCheck, which allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt; and to forgo removing laptops and compliant liquids from their carry-on bags.

“This new application process will greatly increase the availability of TSA PreCheck benefits to a broader population of travelers nationwide,” says TSA Administrator John S. Pistole, who attended a press conference to announce the opening of the application center. “TSA PreCheck is enabling us to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to transportation security, as we look for more opportunities to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way.”

To take advantage of the expedited screening process, PreCheck applicants are required to appear in person to provide biographic information (e.g. name, date of birth, address, etc.), fingerprints, valid ID and citizenship/immigration documentation, and a non-refundable application fee of $85 for a five-year membership. The TSA will then run a criminal background check on applicants and check them against a terrorist watch list.

While the TSA reserves the right to reject applicants, Pistole says the agency isn’t looking to disqualify travelers for minor convictions.

“Our goal is to keep terrorists off planes,” he explains.

Successful applicants will receive a Known Traveler Number, allowing them to utilize TSA PreCheck lanes at security checkpoints at more than 100 participating airports and on nine major U.S. airlines, including: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.

Hartsfield-Jackson’s TSA PreCheck application center is located next to Gate A19 and is available for ticketed and connecting passengers. Walk-in appointments are allowed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Currently, the Hartsfield-Jackson’s PreCheck security checkpoint is located in the South Terminal near Delta’s Priority line, but TSA officials say that as the program accepts applicants, it will convert some of the airport’s regular security lanes to PreCheck lanes. By the end of the year, the agency hopes to have 25 percent of the traveling public using TSA PreCheck.

Additional program information and how to enroll can be found at www.TSA.gov.


© 2012 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.
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