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TSA's 'Trusted Traveler' Program Goes Into Effect

First Posted: 10/04/11 12:28 PM ET   Updated: 12/04/11 05:12 AM ET

The TSA announced the launch of its "trusted traveler" program on Tuesday, which they announced back in May.

This includes a "PreCheck" program which is an attempt by the TSA to distance themselves from a "one-size-fits-all approach," to a more risk-based one, as TSA Administrator John Pistole said in a press release. Willing travelers will provide more personal information at TSA checkpoints, in an attempt to focus the TSA's efforts on more risk-based travelers.

As Pistole said in the press release:

By learning more about travelers through information they voluntarily provide, and combining that information with our other layers of security, we can focus more resources on higher-risk and unknown passengers. This new screening system holds great potential to strengthen security while significantly enhancing the travel experience whenever possible for passengers.

During this pilot, TSA will use pre-screening capabilities to make intelligence-based risk assessments on passengers who voluntarily participate in the TSA PreCheck program and are flying domestically from one of the four pilot sites: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, Dallas/Fort Worth International and Miami International airports.

So who fits the bill? Participants include certain frequent fliers from American and Delta airlines as well as member of the Customs and Border Protection's Trusted Traveler programs. Passengers will go through expedited screening, the TSA stated. Here's the catch: Delta passenger participants must be flying out of Atlanta and Detroit and American Airlines passengers must be flying out of Miami and Dallas airports to participate, CNN reports.

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MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 23: A screen shows the new Automated Target Recognition software as a TSA employee, who couldn't provide her name, waits to walk into the advanced imaging technology unit to demonstrate the new software that has been installed at Miami International Airport on August 23, 2011 in Miami, Florida.

The new software is designed to enhance passenger privacy by eliminating passenger-specific images and instead auto-detecting potential threat items and indicating their location on a screen which shows a generic outline of a person.

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Filed by Kate Auletta  |