|Metro's Steven Schnepf interviews passengers|
TSA Pre-Check is an expedited security screening program that allows pre-approved passengers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids /gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes. The program was launched in October 2011 and is now available at 97 airports nationwide.
Rick DiPietro, TSA's Federal Security Director at the BNIA, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that TSA Pre-Check provides both enhanced security and added traveler convenience.
"This risk-based security screening concept enhances security by enabling TSA to focus our efforts on passengers the agency knows less about while providing expedited screening to for travelers who volunteer information about themselves prior to flying," DiPetro said.
NFTA Director of Aviation William R. Vanecek added, "We are extremely pleased that TSA Pre-Check is now available at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. It will help expedite our overall pre-flight screening process, without compromising security, while enhancing the experience our customers will have when they use our airport."
Passengers who are eligible for TSA Pre-Check include U.S. citizens of frequent traveler programs invited by participating airlines, U.S. citizens who are members of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler program, Canadian citizens who are members of CBP's NEXUS program and passengers traveling on a participating airline who TSA proactively pre-screens using its Secure Flight system. Later this year, TSA will launch an application program, allowing more U.S. citizens to enroll in TSA Pre-Check.
Jason Kroenig of Webster, New York, was among the first travelers Wednesday to make use of the Pre-Check screening at the BNIA. He said he made it through security with his wife and two children quickly and hassle-free.
"It was very quick, very easy," Kroenig said. "It's especially good when you're traveling with kids."