WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced it has cleared any impediments to further expansion of Registered Traveler (RT) business opportunities beyond the initial 20 airports. TSA determined that the current security threat assessment largely duplicates the watch list matching that is conducted on all travelers every time they fly. The other parts of the security threat assessment are not core elements in determining threats to aviation security and will no longer be required, and the government is eliminating the $28 fee.
The private sector working with the airports and airline passengers can best determine the RT business structure and the initiative needs very limited government involvement going forward. During the pilot, which concludes upon publication of a federal register notice early next week, all RT members were screened according to standard TSA procedures and this practice will continue.
"We have determined that Registered Traveler holds promise as a biometrically enhanced, private sector identity verification program," said TSA Administrator Kip Hawley. "RT works best when tailored to the individual needs of each location, as determined by the airports and airlines that sponsor these programs and their local Federal Security Directors."
Identity verification is a key layer of aviation security. RT service providers will continue to be responsible for verifying the identity of their members. The government requires airlines to check each flight manifest against the selectee and no-fly watch lists to ensure that known terrorists do not fly.
There are currently approximately 135,000 active program participants at the 19 airports where the program operates. Current participants in the program should not see any change in their benefits for the immediate future. RT members will be able to use any service provider's card at any RT location for a minimum of 12 months. After this 12-month period, service providers will be responsible for negotiating arrangements for the reciprocal use of one another's cards.
Should RT service providers invest in additional security technology that effectively replaces more time-consuming existing measures, TSA will work with providers and airports to assure its prompt implementation.