The Transportation Security Administration plans to install a high-tech security system at Orlando International Airport that will allow frequent fliers to avoid long lines at airport checkpoints. Orlando will join five other airports that have tested the technology, which uses sophisticated scanning equipment to verify the identity of travelers enrolled in the program. The agency hopes to launch the program in Orlando early next year.
"There are few other places in the country better suited for this program than Orlando," said Justin Oberman, a TSA official who discussed the program with the Greater Orlando Airport Authority on Wednesday.
Heightened airport security that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has greatly added to check-in time at many airports. The TSA's "registered traveler" program cuts the wait for fliers who are willing to undergo background checks and fingerprinting in exchange for swifter preflight processing.
TSA hasn't decided how it will operate the Orlando program. Oberman said it would seek a private business to handle some aspects of the procedure, but he said TSA would remain responsible for security.
The program would charge frequent fliers a fee to participate. Special check-in lines would be created to speed them to their boarding gates, and they would no longer be subject to random searches.
Vetting trusted passengers has been a TSA goal for several years. After testing procedures in Boston, Washington, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Houston, it now says it is ready for a broader roll out.