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No-shoe-removal airport screening coming to Honolulu

By Eileen Sullivan

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:15 a.m. HST, Feb 08, 2012

WASHINGTON >> A new passenger screening program to make check-in more convenient for certain travelers is being expanded to Honolulu and 27 more major U.S. airports, the government said today. There will be no cost to eligible passengers, who would no longer have to remove their shoes and belts before they board flights. 

The airports include the three used by hijackers to launch the terror attacks in September 2001: Washington Dulles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and Boston’s Logan International Airport.

The Transportation Security Administration’s program, already in a test phase in seven other airports, is the Obama administration’s first attempt at a passenger screening program responsive to frequent complaints that the government is not using common sense when it screens all passengers at airports in the same way. Under the new program, eligible travelers have the option to volunteer more personal information about themselves so that the government can vet them for security purposes before they arrive at airport checkpoints.

“Good, thoughtful, sensible security by its very nature facilitates lawful travel and legitimate commerce,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.

The program works this way: Participating travelers will walk through a dedicated lane at airport security checkpoints. They will provide the TSA officer with a specially marked boarding pass. A machine will read the barcode, and travelers deemed “low-risk,” will likely be allowed to keep on belts, shoes and jackets and leave laptops and liquids in bags when being screened.

Not everyone is eligible to participate in the program, which is already being tested at airports in Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Eligible travelers are some of those who participate in American and Delta airlines’ frequent flier programs, as well as travelers in three other trusted traveler programs, which do charge fees to participate. About 336,000 passengers have been screened through the program since the testing began last year, according to the Transportation Security Administration. 

By the end of 2012, the government expects select passengers in frequent flier programs for US Airways, United and Alaska Airlines to be eligible to participate. The program is expected to be operating in Reagan National Airport near Washington, Salt Lake City International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport by the end of March. 

“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,” said TSA chief John Pistole. 

Pistole has said he hopes to eventually test the program at all airports and with all airlines around the country, but that might take years.

The program is expected to be operating in these airports by the end of 2012: Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Denver International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Honolulu International Airport, New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, Oregon’s Portland International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Florida’s Tampa International Airport and Alaska’s Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. 


For more information: http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/escreening.shtm

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MANDA wrote:
How about some information, like letting us if we can apply?
on February 8,2012 | 06:26AM
false wrote:
Yeah, I am definitely interested!
on February 8,2012 | 07:22AM
OldDiver wrote:
How about using common sense and getting rid of the body scanners. Israel doesn't use them because they are proven to be ineffective. Body scanners are only making body scanner manufacturers rich without providing effective security.
on February 8,2012 | 07:32AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Sadly common sense = profiling in the left wing world. Common sense is sensing that the suspicious looking Middle Eastern male 20-30 old might be worth talking to in a sepeate (hopefully blast proof) room.
on February 8,2012 | 01:43PM
shakalopaka wrote:
Sounds like the US Government is giving only people who can qualify for airline frequent flyer elite programs special treatment. Again, the rich get a pass and the rest of us have to submit to TSA humiliation.
on February 8,2012 | 07:36AM
patk wrote:
Those of us that fly often are waiting for those of you who have no idea about the security rules and hold everyone else up. Stop complaining about something you only do infrequently. Americans are always worried about their rights regarding anything that even SLIGHTLY affects them. Well in case you didn't know, this a society and not your personal concierge service. Rules are made for the overall benefit, and not just what you happen to like.
on February 8,2012 | 11:22AM
SmedleyFerndock wrote:
Anytime that you create exceptions to a security system for convenience purposes, you compromise the security system. If the security system is well designed at the start it will achieve its security objective. As exceptions are added you create a privileged class and someone will use it to totally compromise the system. The more exceptions the less secure the system. Consider this the first lesson in the Security 101 class.
on February 8,2012 | 01:07PM
SandBar wrote:
Just because I frequent fly doesn't mean I'm rich. I fly because it's part of my job. I see construction guys all the time when I take the first flight. They always stand in the line that boards first. I don't believe they're rich.
on February 8,2012 | 07:40PM
kainalu wrote:
It took them this long to figure it out? The amount of money we've spent screening every single American - from infants to the nearly-dead - because we are to "be afraid, be very afraid!" There's got to be a way for our government to figure out who the "low risk" travelers are, specifically amongst 'Americans'. I would say that "low risk" travelers include 99.9% of us. Imagine the money, time, frustration, and dignity saved.
on February 8,2012 | 07:45AM
copperwire9 wrote:
Details, please. All through the article I see "select," "eligible," "legitimate," etc., but no clues as to what that means. Do we have to submit fingerprints, offer our firstborn children, endure an implant, what?
on February 8,2012 | 07:46AM
MynahMatters wrote:
There are no details because it's another "hope and change" illusion.
on February 8,2012 | 09:26AM
serious wrote:
I used to joke at the airport when I had to take off my shoes---Glad the bomber didn't hide the explosives in his underwear!! And, of course, it came true!! The system is broken, just makes jobs! The problem, as I see it, is not the passengers--hey they are on the airplane--it's the minimum wage people who come in to clean the compartments between passenger changes. They don't speak English!!
on February 8,2012 | 09:24AM
nitpikker wrote:
how stupid! if i were a terrorist i would gladly pay extra to join a frequent flier program if it means less scrutiny!!
on February 8,2012 | 09:31AM
kainalu wrote:
"Be afraid, be very afraid!"
on February 8,2012 | 10:39AM
kennysmith wrote:
my question to this person? kainalu , why should a person should be afraid when you are coming from the usa?.
on February 8,2012 | 05:01PM
SmedleyFerndock wrote:
If you are a frequent flyer you still have to fill out a form. The form asks one question; Are you a terrorist? All passengers are expected to answer the question truthfully under penalty of law.
on February 8,2012 | 10:05AM
kainalu wrote:
"The terrorists are coming!"
on February 8,2012 | 10:39AM
environmental_lady wrote:
I have a different viewpoint. I wouldn't mind taking off my shoes and I wouldn't even mind being stripped naked before a female TSA officer if that would ensure a safe flight, just as much as I don't mind if cashiers ask for my ID when I present a debit card because consistent checking would prevent someone else from using my stolen card. What I do mind is having to part from a laptop or my purse for fear of theft from unscrupulous TSA officials. That galls me more than any body search which personally I don't regard as humiliating as long as it is performed by a female on women and girls. I agree with some comments that terrorists could take advantage of special eligible fares to avoid searches. It favors the rich. Otherwise, I realize that most people would strongly disagree with a strip search and if Israel can attain security without body searches, then I'm all for permanent changes in the system that would emulate Israel's security measures. In any case, TSA needs to focus more on preventing thefts and hassling elderly passengers with special medical needs. That I agree is humiliating.
on February 8,2012 | 11:02AM
Fred01 wrote:
That is precisely why you live in the wrong country. Go back to Iran.
on February 8,2012 | 11:36AM
kennysmith wrote:
who are you talking about?, can't you give a person name who post here.
on February 8,2012 | 05:02PM
cojef wrote:
All a bunch of monkey business and hoopla to palcate the rich and famous from the degrading task of removing their shoes in public. The rich and famous are the ones that belong to the frequent flyer membership, and yet they can act up like Alec Baldwin in his recent tirade against the little steward. I'd be afraid of guys like him who would dash to restroom and still do his thing, whatever it was that he complained about. Didn't make sense, it was meant to be, all waha.
on February 8,2012 | 11:10AM
allie wrote:
These security efforts are 11 years too late. Bush ignored the warnings and slept. We all paid for his laziness in not protecting us as Obama has.
on February 8,2012 | 11:30AM
kgolfinghawaii wrote:
What is it about you left wingers? Most of the plans were made under Clinton's watch not Bush. If Bush had known, and he didn't, and taken action you would have been scolding him for violating some poor muslims rights. Get a clue would ya. You left wing not thinking people always want it both ways.
on February 8,2012 | 11:52AM
tommui wrote:
There has been for a year or so machines installed in some non-US airports that uses something like x-rays or metal detectors that were used at the foot level so that passengers didn't have to take off their shoes. Was always surprised TSA never got any of those.
on February 8,2012 | 02:29PM
kahu808 wrote:
Where do I sign up?
on February 8,2012 | 02:51PM
kennysmith wrote:
when i go to asfo CA, I ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS AND THEY TELL ME. WHY DON'T YOU ALL THERE DO THE SAME THING. i have no issue with taking off my shoes at all.
on February 8,2012 | 04:58PM
GorillaSmith wrote:
Great news! Soon the TSA will only consistently violate some people's 4th Amendment rights - not everyone's. The Founding Fathers' minds would be blown if they saw the sad state of basic civil liberties these days - and by the fact that so many simpletons blindly follow these arbitrary rules without expressing any outrage..
on February 8,2012 | 07:25PM
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