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TSA offers travelers a faster way through security

Monday - 11/4/2013, 3:12pm  ET

bwi.jpg
In this WTOP file photo from September, stranded passengers wait in line at Baltimore Washington International Airport. On busy days at BWI, the additional expedited security lines will come in handy. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

TSA: Program is safe and enhances security

WTOP's Megan Cloherty reports

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WASHINGTON - There will be a faster way to get through airport security at Baltimore Washington International Airport for those travelers determined to be a low security risk by the Transportation Security Administration.

The airport will open it's PreCheck checkpoint in Concourse C on Tuesday, Nov. 5. It will be the second, expedited security line in the airport.

Travelers must be invited to join the PreCheck program by their airline or be a part of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol trusted traveler program. But some low-risk passengers could be selected at random to go through the new line, says Lisa Farbstein, spokeswoman for the TSA.

"What that means is they'll be able to leave their shoes on. Their laptop will be able to stay in their bag. They'll be able to leave their belts on, their jackets on and they won't have to take out their toiletries," Farbstein says.

Each passenger will still have to go through the metal detector and bags will still be screened.

"While it is convenient for the passengers, it's a security enhancement because it allows TSA to spend more time focused on the passengers that we know less about," Farbstein says.

The program already operates in 100 airports including Reagan National and Dulles.

Later this year, passengers will be able to sign up for access to the PreCheck lines. The cost to access the faster line is $85 for five years.

Travelers will be alerted when the TSA opens the fee-based program to the public.

A PreCheck line has already been in BWI's Concourse D for about a year. So airport officials are not worried that customers will be confused by the added line through concourse C security.

"The lanes are clearly marked. And those customers, participants in the program, are aware of their status," says Jonathan Dean, spokesman for BWI airport.

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