AAAE pledges support to expand trusted traveler programs to additional fliers

Posted: 21 March 2012 | AAAE | No comments yet

“DHS trusted traveler programs offer enormous promise in bolstering security…”

American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Logo

In testimony today before a key Senate subcommittee responsible for the annual budget of the Department of Homeland Security, American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) President Chip Barclay pledged continued airport support for efforts to expand the number of travelers who participate in DHS trusted traveler programs, including the Transportation Security Administration PreCheck program and the Customs and Border Protection Global Entry program.

“DHS trusted traveler programs offer enormous promise in bolstering security, enhancing efficiency, and improving the customer experience at airports across the country,” Barclay said. “While PreCheck and Global Entry are off to a good start, their ultimate success depends on enrolling as many qualified individuals as possible so that the limited resources of the federal government are more effectively focused on travelers about whom little is known.”

Barclay noted that TSA’s PreCheck program in its current form is available only to certain elite travelers on specific airlines and participants in the CBP Global Entry program. Barclay said that airport executives would like to see the PreCheck program expanded to accommodate the participation of as many additional travelers as possible using an airport-centric, community based effort. Barclay added that while airline-based programs and Global Entry are good avenues in enrolling qualified participants, additional efforts will be needed to accommodate a broader range of qualified travelers – a goal that airports, the traveling public, and the government share.

“Airport executives anticipate continued success with the PreCheck program as it is rolled out to additional airports and recognize that the next challenge will be moving from a largely airline-centric program in operation at a handful of airports to one that is operational for large numbers of travelers at airport facilities across the country,” Barclay added. “Airport operators are uniquely situated and qualified to play a key role in assisting TSA in efficiently and effectively growing participation in PreCheck or a similar trusted traveler program.”

Barclay noted that over the past decade, AAAE and individual airports have worked closely with TSA and the technology community to implement specific programs, including the inter-operable Registered Traveler program. In roughly one year, the RT program enrolled more than 250,000 travelers at 24 airports, proving the security and efficiency benefits that adoption of these programs provides.

“Airports are confident that in partnership with TSA they can help facilitate the deployment of a robust trusted/known traveler program that focuses on enhanced security above all else in addition to expediting the travel experience,” Barclay said. “We are eager to work with Administrator Pistole and his team to make the promises of PreCheck a reality for a broad range of qualified travelers at airports across the country.”

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