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TSA Expedites Security Checks With New Test Program

Frequent flyers to get a fast pass

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
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Above: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

Audio

Aired 2/8/12

A new program at major metropolitan airports will let passengers breeze through the security line -- but only they qualify.

The new security screening program is being tested at five airports across the country, including Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Only frequent flyers on major airlines are eligible to participate by registering with the Transportation Security Administration.

The initiative allows passengers to walk through a designated lane without removing their shoes and belts and skip other screening steps.

Nico Melendez is a spokesperson for the TSA. “If there are some passengers out there that we have more information on, we know they probably aren’t the threat that we’re looking for," he said. "So if we can make the haystack smaller and make it easier for us to look for that needle, then we’re gonna do it.”

The pilot program will be tested in 20 additional airports this year, including Phoenix and Houston.

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