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US May Reduce Security Checks For Low-Risk Passengers

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New proposed airport security measures could allow low-risk passengers to be screened faster in an express check-in line. (Photo: Stock.xchng)
New proposed airport security measures could allow low-risk passengers to be screened faster in an express check-in line. (Photo: Stock.xchng)


  • Reduced security checks may be available for low-risk passengers; High-risk passengers would have to undergo extensive screening
  • Strict security discouraging to travelers; $85 billion loss from fewer trips
  • No date is set for the launch of the new speedier airport screening measures

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that travelers who are a low security risk may be able to get through airport security faster.  

The new measures proposed include a line set aside for travelers who are low risk and a special program that allows passengers to be screened faster. However, these changes would require authorities to identify passengers who they feel pose a greater risk, which would mean more extensive screening for those selected.

Travelers often complain about the time that it takes to go through airport security checks with increasingly strict processes now in place. In 2009, the government raised airport security after a passenger made it onboard a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with an explosive.

TSA investigates on an ongoing basis ways to make the wait time shorter. One step forward was made in March 2011, when a plan was revealed to allow travelers to check at least one bag without paying extra fees, minimizing hand-held, carry-on luggage and reducing the flow of bags that require examination at security checkpoints.

Strict Security Leads to Fewer Trips

All of this increased airport security screening has translated into a decrease in the number of trips taken by travelers, who are now avoiding air travel due to the inconvenience. Research shows that travelers are taking two to three fewer trips per year, adding up to a $85 billion loss for the American economy. About 900,000 jobs are affected when travelers cut two or three trips per year, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

Roger Dow, the U.S. Travel Association President, said that travelers have been advised to arrive at the airport two hours early to go through security checks and make their flights. The current system, he said, is one-size-fits-all and a better system could be created to improve the travel experience for passengers.

It is unknown when the new proposed security measures could be implemented.

Key Players – Global Aviation Security Market

  • American Science and Engineering, Analogic Security Systems, ARINC, ASSA ABLOY, Aviation Security Company Limited, Avsec Global, Bosch Security Systems, Detection Monitoring Technologies (DMT), ECSI International, EuroElektronika UAB, Future Fibre Technologies (FFT), GE Security, G4S, Guardian Technologies International, ICTS International, Image Scan Holdings, JP International Aviation Security, L-1 Identity Solutions, L-3 Communications, Magal, NICE Systems, NUCHTECH Company, Panasonic System Solutions Company, PELCO, RapiScan Systems, Raytheon Company, Reveal Imaging Technologies, Safran, Seal & Go BV, Securitas AB, Smiths Detection, TraceGuard Technologies, TransSecure, Unisys Corporation, Verint Systems, Zareba Security

Key Statistics – Global Homeland Security Market (Source: Visongain)

  • Global governments will spend at least $178 billion on homeland security.
  • Predicted value of the homeland security market will be close to $2.7 trillion between 2010-2020.
  • The United States has the top spot in the market, and is one of only a few countries with a Department of Homeland Security; China, India and Saudi Arabia are also included in the list.

By C. Williams for
C. Williams is a journalist based in the United States. She has been covering the news for over a decade.

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