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TIA to offer quicker screenings for some fliers

TAMPA — Tampa International Airport is among 28 nationwide that will be included in a new passenger screening procedure aimed at easing the pain of departure for thousands of travelers.

The Transportation Security Administration on Wednesday announced the expansion of a program that has been tested at seven other airports. TIA is expected to join the screening program this fall, though no date has been set and the participating airlines have not been determined. The program also will expand to Orlando International Airport. It already is in place in Miami.

The program allows certain passengers — mostly frequent fliers — to keep their shoes and belts on, keep their laptop cases closed and keep liquids in their carry-on luggage when they go through airport security.

U.S. citizens who provide personal information and undergo background checks are eligible and receive special boarding passes with bar codes showing that they are in the program. Their bags are still screened, and they are still subject to random checks, the TSA said.

The expansion "moves us closer to our goal of delivering the most effective and efficient screening by recognizing that most passengers do not pose a threat to security," said TSA administrator John S. Pistole. "We are pleased to expand this important effort, in collaboration with our airline and airport partners, as we move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more intelligence-driven, risk-based transportation security system."

Eligible passengers include certain frequent fliers, as well as members of the Customs and Border Protection's Trusted Traveler programs. Eligible passengers use a special lane to get through screening more quickly.

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TIA to offer quicker screenings for some fliers 02/08/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 6:50pm]
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