AUSTIN (KXAN) - Soon some travelers at Austin Bergstrom International Airport can get through security a lot quicker. TSA offers a Pre-Check program at several airports around the country already and now it's coming to Austin.
TSA pre-check allows enrolled passengers to use a separate security line. Travelers do not have to take off their shoes, belts and jackets, or remove laptop computers and liquids from their carry-on bags.
Joe Fox flies weekly between Los Angeles and Austin. In L.A., he's a TSA Pre-Check passenger.
"It really expedites going through the line and going through security," Fox said, "It's really nice for the people that travel a lot."
TSA's program is intended for frequent flyers of five major airlines. Those include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines or US Airways.
Deepak Singh travels between Chicago and Austin just about every week. He's part of the TSA Pre-Check, and is happy for it to come to ABIA.
"I don't have to take my laptop out of my bag. I don't have to take my toiletries out of my bag," Singh said.
TSA Administrator John Pistole announced Thursday morning that Pre-Check would be coming to ABIA.
"It's our way of trying to move from the one-size-fits-all construct -- that was necessary after 9/11 -- to that of a risk-based, intelligence driven approach," Pistole said.
Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Congressman Michael McCaul, R-Austin,was there for the announcement.
"TSA Pre-Check allows airports to be more passenger friendly, while still targeting a real threat --which is not the grandmother and the little kid, which is not the frequent flyer that is trusted, but rather the potential terrorist coming through the airport," said McCaul.
"I still feel safe that people are being screened properly, because it's the people that have already been checked out and made sure that they're safe that go through that line," Fox said.
ABIA will officially begin offering TSA Pre-Check March 31, 2013. That will bring the total number of participating airports around the country to 40.
In addition to frequent flyers becoming TSA Pre-Check passengers, there are other ways to enroll. The other way is by using GlobalEntry.gov. You apply online and then do an in-person interview at the airport. Global Entry costs $100 five years in the Pre-Check program.
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