Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content You can leave your shoes on: Speedy boarding coming to Colorado Springs Airport

By Wayne Heilman Updated: August 31, 2013 at 6:06 am

For $85, people who frequently fly out of the Colorado Springs Airport will soon be able to breeze through security for the next five years without having to remove their shoes, belts or jackets.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which oversees passenger and baggage screening at 450 airports nationwide, has offered its Pre-Check expedited screening program at Denver International Airport since October. The program is available to 12 million passengers at DIA and 39 other major airports nationwide.

Later this year, Pre-Check will expanded to include Colorado Springs and several other airports to broaden participation, said Carrie Harmon, an agency spokeswoman in Denver. No starting date has been established.

Passengers must agree to join the program either through airline frequent flier programs or enroll in trusted traveler programs through the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. The agency said in July that it plans to allow U.S. citizens to apply online or visit an enrollment site to provide fingerprints and pay an $85 fee for a five-year membership in the program.

Participating airlines include American, Delta and United, as well as Alaska Airlines, which will begin nonstop service in November between the Springs and Seattle. Allegiant Air doesn't participate in Pre-Check.

"This program is one of several risk-based, intelligence-driven measures currently helping TSA move away from a one-size-fits-all security model, and move closer to its goal of providing the most effective transportation security in the most efficient way possible," Chris McLaughlin, TSA's assistant administrator, said in a press release when it expanded the program to Denver.

TSA expanded Denver's Pre-Check program in February to include active-duty military personnel, who can receive expedited screening by presenting a military identification card, but it is unclear whether that part of the program will be expanded to the Springs.

Program members receive a "known traveler number" that appears on their boarding pass and allows them access to special security lines at participating airports, where they don't have to take off their shoes, belts or jackets, haul laptop computers from their cases or remove liquids, gels or aerosols in their carry-on baggage. But they'll still have to limit liquids to containers of 3.4-ounces or less that fit in a one-quart plastic bag.

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234 Twitter @wayneheilman

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