Some travelers soon may be able to leave their shoes on at Akron-Canton Airport’s security checkpoints.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Wednesday announced it would expand its expedited screening program to 60 additional airports, including Akron-Canton, Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is already one of 40 offering the program.
No date has been set for when the expedited service will arrive, although the TSA said it would be before the end of the year.
The government calls the program TSA Pre-check, using a check mark in the name instead of the word “check.”
It allows pre-approved airline travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belts and keep their laptops and allowable liquids in the carry-on bag, instead of putting them in baskets in the security lines.
“Between the dedicated line and changes to the screening process, they can get through screening very quickly,” said TSA spokesman Jon Allen.
The passengers and their bags will still be screened using the same equipment. But because the passengers have agreed to screening during program registration, it allows for an expedited check, he said.
Akron-Canton Airport President and Chief Executive Officer Rick McQueen said the program is “definitely a good thing for our travelers.”
“If you want to get through airports quicker, this will be the way,” he said.
There are three ways to enroll:
• Eligible passengers who participate in some frequent traveler programs can be invited by the airline for free. Allen said for security purposes, details on eligibility are not being released, but usually the airline will reach out to customers who qualify. Participating airlines are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. JetBlue and Southwest are expected to participate.
• Customers can enroll for $100 for five years in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Trusted Traveler or Global Entry programs, primarily used for international passengers.
• In a pilot program at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., and the Indianapolis airport, customers can enroll directly into the TSA pre-check for $85 for a five-year period of eligibility. Allen said the TSA will eventually expand to other airports with enrollment centers. The cost would cover the screening process, which includes fingerprints.
Allen said the TSA provides security at 450 airports nationwide. This expansion will cover 100 of the largest airports, he said. The program first started in 2011 and expanded further last March.