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Risk-based security: What this means for you

TSA’s evolution from a one-size-fits-all approach

TSA’s evolution from a one-size-fits-all approach. Photo by Tara ParekhFollowing the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Transportation Security Administration began changing the way it screens the nearly 2 million passengers who fly daily in and out of our nation’s 450-plus commercial airports. The agency evolved from a one-size-fits-all approach to security and changed operations by adopting a risk-based, intelligence-driven method. Risk-based security is based on the understanding that the vast majority of people traveling pose little to no threat to aviation and therefore TSA can expedite the physical security screening process at the airport. Through a variety of risk-based initiatives such as TSA Pre✓™, which allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and keep 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels in a carry-on bag, TSA provides effective security while gaining efficiencies and improving the travel experience for millions of passengers each week.

Now available at 118 airports nationwide, we continue to build upon the success of TSA Pre✓™ by increasing the population of known and trusted travelers. Through the TSA Pre✓™ application program, interested U.S citizens and lawful permanent residents are able to apply at one of nearly 300 application centers nationwide. Additionally, members of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection trusted traveler program such as Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI, are eligible to participate.

As always, TSA continues to incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening. Through layered security measures, today's TSA is able to maintain security levels high while providing an enhanced traveler experience, thus creating a much stronger and protected transportation system.

Latest revision: 07 August 2014