TSA officials tout virtues of expedited security screening

Transportation Security Administration officials on Friday pushed the virtues of airline passengers joining the PreCheck expedited security program.

About two months ago, the agency finished installing PreCheck at all of McCarran International Airport’s security portals. Karen Burke, the TSA’s federal security director at McCarran, said the airport would meet the overall goal of having one-fourth of departing passengers, about 5 million a year, go through PreCheck.

The program involves submitting travel information to the TSA, so it can determine whether or not someone is a relatively low security risk. With approval in hand, passenger can go through a screening that does not require them to remove belts, shoes or light jackets while keeping laptop computers and liquids in their bags.

Many people with PreCheck clearance have joined after an invitation through the frequent flyer programs of the nine airlines that participate, or paying to join the Global Entry program for international travel. Recently, however, TSA has granted PreCheck clearance to people on a trip-by-trip basis after its security program determines that someone is low risk.

The goal is to have half of passengers go through PreCheck in a year.