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VOL. 129 | NO. 75 | Thursday, April 17, 2014

Smoother Take-Off

TSA PreCheck lands at Memphis International

By Amos Maki

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Andrew Taylor flies out of Memphis International Airport frequently for business and leisure.

Pat and Lisa Lewis make their way through the Transportation Security Administration PreCheck at Memphis International Airport. The airport recently added a TSA PreCheck application office.

(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)

He registered at another airport in a Transportation Security Administration PreCheck program that allows for expedited screening, but Taylor and his wife were never able to get their schedules on the same page so she could register for the program at Atlanta’s airport.

Thanks to a new TSA PreCheck application office at Memphis International, Taylor’s wife will be able to register for the program in Memphis.

“The PreCheck is great. I get PreCheck through Delta a lot of times, but my wife doesn’t,” Taylor said. “We could never get ourselves together to fly to Atlanta for the express purpose of doing it. Having it here at Memphis International is fabulous. We can do it all here.”

The PreCheck program is an expedited screening process that allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belts, keep their laptops in their cases and keep compliant liquids in their carry-on bags.

The PreCheck program was launched in 2011 as a way for frequent, low-risk passengers to pass through the airport security gauntlet faster and with fewer hassles.

“TSA PreCheck is enabling us to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to transportation security as we look for more opportunities to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way,” said TSA Administrator John Pistole.

The TSA began PreChecking select Memphis flyers around a year ago and dedicated a special screening lane at Checkpoint B.

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority President and CEO Scott Brockman said the PreCheck program will provide a more pleasant process for travelers coming in and out of Memphis.

“A large part of the reinvention of the Memphis airport involves maximizing all aspects of the customer experience,” Brockman said. “Providing an opportunity for expedited security screening is a huge benefit for our passengers and works well in our quest to provide a positively memorable travel experience.”

While PreCheck passengers will get expedited screenings, they will still be subjected to random forms of security checks.

“There’s no sacrificing security for efficiency,” said TSA spokesman Mark Howell

The TSA is in the process of expanding PreCheck to more than 300 application centers across the U.S.

“This new application process will greatly increase the availability of PreCheck benefits to a broader population of travelers nationwide,” said Pistole.

TSA said U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents will be able to pre-enroll in PreCheck at tsa.gov/tsa-precheck, make an appointment and complete enrollment in the application center. At the center, TSA staff will verify identities, take fingerprints and receive documentation confirming citizenship and immigration status.

“It’s very simple,” said Howell. “The entire process takes about 10 minutes in and out.”

Once approved, travelers will receive a Known Traveler Number and will have the opportunity to use PreCheck lanes at security checkpoints at airports across the country.

The Memphis center will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office between the ticketing lobbies in concourses B and C.

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