POSTED: 1:18 p.m. HST, Sep 4, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 2:56 p.m. HST, Sep 4, 2013
A federal program to speed up airport security screenings for certain travelers is expanding to airports on Maui, the Big Island and Kauai.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said today it will expand faster screening lanes to 100 airports by year end, up from 40 now.
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says the expansion includes Kona International Airport, Kahului Airport and Lihue Airport. He says the Honolulu airport will get more lanes for its program.
Schatz says Pre-Check will help 16,000 to 18,000 people who commute between the islands each day.
Under the Pre-Check program, qualified passengers don't have to remove shoes, light jackets or belts. They can keep laptops in cases, and liquids and gels in carry-on bags.
Pre-Check is open to U.S. citizens who belong to frequent-flier programs of participating airlines or a government trusted-traveler program, and to Canadian citizens who belong to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's NEXUS program.
Eligible flyers are notified by participating airlines that they can to participate in the program. Travelers can also apply through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Global Entry program at http://www.globalentry.gov/.
The Pre-Check participating airlines are Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, United, US Airways and Virgin America.
TSA plans to let other U.S. citizens apply later this year by being fingerprinted and paying an $85 fee.
TSA says more than 15 million passengers have used Pre-Check since 2011.