Expedited Airport Security May Be New Security Clearance Perk
Expedited security screening at airports may be possible for individuals with security clearances, said TSA Administrator John Pistole. In an address before George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute, Pistole said that he was working with the director of national intelligence to explore the possibility.
Frequent fliers are no strangers to the long lines and invasive procedures that have made the TSA the subject of public complaint and congressional oversight. Several months ago the TSA offered some relief, with the PreCheck program, launched in four U.S. airports under limited use. Frequent fliers were given the option to undergo prescreening and in return, get some of their travel dignity back. PreCheck fliers have their own airport security line and are able to keep their shoes, belt and jackets on, as well as laptops and liquids in their luggage.
There are no details on when clearance holders may be eligible for the PreCheck program, or if a new but similar program might be launched. But even the possibility would be welcome news for security cleared professionals who spend a lot of time in airports.
“Clearly, that is a category of people that we as a society know and trust more than others,” said Pistole.
Moving at the speed of Government. I think all of us, at least at the working level–whether Government, military or contractor–who are or were cleared a decade ago, especially with TS, SCI and various Polys, etc., realized this should be possible, reasonable and appropriate…a decade ago. But the “Frequent Flyer” was considered first? Wow!!! Another TSA “miracle” in such a long distinguished list. What will they think of next…you know…in 2021???
So would my wife and kids not be able to ‘fastpass’ it?
I am a government-cleared contractor. I do not agree with this idea. This is nothing more than another elitist move. How about pin-pointing the scum who are responsible for the increased security in the first place? Scrutinize them closer; make them squirm. “Credit where credit is due” cuts both ways. How about this philosophy: “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then its probably a duck.”? Let’s adopt a “profiling” stance just a little bit, eh? If you are not an enemy of the USA then that will probably come out. An inconvienence is a small price to pay for the security when you fly.
I can’t deny that it would be a nice perk, not to mention the bragging rights that go along with it. However, I think everyone should be subject to the same security measures, minus the president and his cabinet. It may be “logical” that those with security clearance don’t pose a high threat to aviation safety, but you have to look at the big picture. The last thing the Pentagon needs right now is to piss off a ton of cranky travelers by making them feel like second class citizens. At the end of the day, no program is immune from budget cuts.
This is off topic, but I just found out last week that new issue code requirements now say that if the Subj has ANY discrepancy you have to give them a 05A for honesty.
…So basically every single subject will now get 05A’d. Seems reasonable.
Have y’all heard about this?
Oh, good, because I always wanted the TSA to know my clearance level. Wouldn’t this just turn Dulles, Reagan and BWI into foreign spy campgrounds where people (or cameras) record everybody who gets to breeze through the line?
@Very Special Investigator- one of my contracts sent that out, the other has not yet… I’m sure it’ll be coming from the other one as soon as they get enough reopens. Makes sense to me- NOT!
Seems to me they need to create a new issue code for “discrepancies not involving deliberate attempt to conceal information.”
Blue’s, I agree, it could be issue code ‘YN2’ as You Need 2 learn to follow directions.
Amen, Fed, Amen!
Got an e-mail last night that our company is making some big leadership changes.
I have had a TS/SCI clearance for over 32 years. Get reinvestigated on a regular basis. I am not in any way a threat to aviation security. Why shouldn’t I get to go through security without all of the hassle.
Mix us in with the frequent fliers so we don’t stand out and we can’t possibly be targetted.
I think it is a shame when you trust me to put my a– on the line militarily, but don’t trust me to get on a plane without making me jump thru hoops………..
I agree that this would be nice but I also agree with Jane. I think this may make cleared people more vulnerable to threats. I think it is a lazy and dangerous approach to making lines faster. Why not think of ways to speed up the lines and make them more efficient without changing the security checklists methods. Stick to the same security checking methods without taking so much time. There has to be better ways.
I’ve asked this same question before, and after reading the comments above I’m not so sure it would benefit those frequent traveler’s. Does this mean that those TSA agents are going to have access to the same terminals that currently hold ALL the clearances for everyone, JPAS? If so, and speaking solely from the IT security perspective, that’s going to open up the multitudes of “hacks” that’ll happen, not to mention the social engineering, and OMG the theft of one of those terminals IF, IF the TSA “forgets” to log off. I’m not sure if this is such a good idea, they are going to have to come up with a different plan. Yea, it’s a necessary evil that we all have to endure.
I agree with Jane. What need does anyone else have to know my clearance? Announce that cleared professionals get this “perk,” and you’ve just painted a target on everyone’s back who utilizes this line, especially cleared professionals.
I have a Homeland Security TWIX card clearance, and a top secret Homeland Security clearance from the USCG Aux. and still have to stand in line with everyone else. I don’t see why people with Homeland Security Clearances don’t have a separate check point to go through. The TWIX card is the same check used for the TSA workers………
I don’t see this as an elitist perk, nor is profiling the answer. A clearance is a clearance. Why be re-cleared at a lower level because our agencies don’t communicate?
I also believe if you’re traveling on an official passport there should be some latitude. I have traveled extensively between the Middle East and US and get ‘randomly selected’ quite frequently because the ticket is usually a short notice purchase and invoiced as a cash transaction. The fact I was on official government business with an official passport should serve as a clue.
I bought my ticket at least two weeks ahead of travel. That’s plenty of time for the TSA to put my information through a computerized data base clearing me for non-molested travel.
Duh. Ban the TSA.
I would like to see the end of TSA for all American’s and a return to sensibility. Perking cleared for fast track through airport security reeks of HOV lane stupidity. We need to treat our citizens with the respect they deserve and the government needs to remember who is employing them and from where they derive their power… from the consent of the governed, whom they’re summarily ignoring in their ignorance.
This is soooooo not a good idea. I agree with comments previously made. I have a security clearance but I certainly don’t want someone surveilling who gets to do the expedited pass through security and then digging into their lives to determine which one would have access to the information they want or need. I don’t want to put myself or my family at risk. I also agree that it would make other citizens feel like second class citizens. If I travel, I prefer to travel with family and I don’t want to get through quickly, only to have to wait at the back side for my family! I also agree with profiling…there is nothing wrong with it, we do it naturally. There is also nothing wrong with random checks, but sometimes, the randomness MUST have some common sense behind it!
It would be a nice perk but I agree that too many people would know you hold a clearance and possibly a high one depending on the regs.
Personally I think it would be a BAD idea. I am retired military with a high clearance level. We have always been taught to blend and not be a target. Counter Intel is always looking for and advantage. Why not just give them the people with access to very important info depending on where you work. I will continue to go through the screening line, it isn’t that bad, some people tend to complain about everything and anything.
Moving forward for the military.
“The bill, approved 404-0, would give DHS six months to devise a preference system for the Armed Forces. The legislation went to the Senate.”
I agree with other posters – it is a very bad idea to single out cleared persons in public. And, frankly, while I don’t agree with all of TSA’s polices and procedures, I think everyone should be subject to the same security/screening measures. Maintain continuity.
As a former law enforcement officer who conducted plain clothes, armed extraditions via civilian air travel (pre 911), keeping an extremely low profile was essential to not making myself a target. I do not want to be singled out in public for any reason.
Are spies cleared or uncleared?????
Excellent idea, as long as discretion is also given to the clearance holder. Openly giving preference would be a red flag, exposing the passenger unnecessarily.
I was a Boy Scout–does that mean anything?
So lets say you buy a ticket, get a ticket number, and plug the number on a secure system. This gets communicated to a TSA system, with automatically generates an e-mail to your personal inbox as anonymous. You then get the same piece of paper or card or whatever as a frequent flier. This is just one example, but there are probably hundreds of other methods that would work. As scared as everyone is about “the enemy”, there are CI methods to CI.
And to everyone talking about making the lines shorter, this method would make the line shorter, albeit not by much. There will always be a “better” way, but demanding for change without an idea to fix it, especially on this forum, is an exercise in futility.
We should just shut the airports down. Flying sucks anyway.