Registered Traveler Program in Demand

Airports are pressing the TSA on the delayed passenger plan.

Ten of the USA's busiest airports have asked the federal government if they can start Registered Traveler programs that would give pre-screened passengers a shortcut through security lines.

Those programs could begin by the end of the year, launching a much-delayed effort to expedite security for travelers who pass background checks.

Atlanta, Chicago O'Hare and Los Angeles airports -- the nation's three busiest -- have asked the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to let them run voluntary Registered Traveler programs, along with 19 other airports.

The TSA released a list of interested airports for the first time after a Freedom of Information Act request by USA TODAY. The agency must approve airports and companies that would enroll passengers, provide fingerprint-embedded ID cards and usher registered travelers through security.

Carter Morris, a vice president at the American Association of Airport Executives, said programs could start by the end of the year and expand quickly. "It will be a strong start," Morris said.

Registered Traveler has faced repeated delays since Congress suggested it shortly after the 9/11 attacks. A recent TSA proposal that would have forced participants to pay about $200 a year prompted an uproar. The annual fee is now likely to be about $100.

People in Registered Traveler would go through reserved security lanes that may waive procedures such as removing shoes and coats. Airports and travel groups say the program must operate at a significant number of places to attract millions of passengers nationwide.

Steven Brill, CEO of a New York company that would run Registered Traveler programs, said 10 large airports would provide a "critical mass to ensure this program launches and flourishes."

However, some airports that have applied have not decided whether to start the Registered Traveler program, including Baltimore and Washington's Dulles and Reagan.

A dozen small to midsize airports that have applied to start Registered Traveler, including Albany, N.Y., and Huntsville, Ala., "are looking at a way to differentiate themselves and attract business travelers," said Larry Zmuda, a partner at Unisys, a Pennsylvania company that would run the program.

Interested airports

Airports that have applied to operate Registered Traveler programs:

Albany, N.Y.




Birmingham, Ala.

Chicago Midway

Chicago O'Hare

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky


Huntsville, Ala.



Little Rock

Los Angeles


San Jose, Calif.



Springfield/Branson, Mo.

Waco, Texas

Washington Dulles

Washington Reagan

News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.

We Recommend

  • News

    Albany Considers Joining Clear Traveler

    Clear Registered Traveler would invest about $2 million in state-of-the-art equipment that would help screen travelers. The contract would provide the airport with an estimated $150,000 a year in...

  • News

    Registered Traveler Starts at JFK

    The opening marks the official launch of Registered Traveler beyond Orlando International Airport. Indianapolis International Airport plans to start the program Thursday.

  • News

    AAAE Creates Consortium to Develop Standards

    The Registered Traveler Program will bring passenger screening consistency and improved security procedures to air travelers in the U.S.

  • News

    Albany Int'l Airport Eyes Scanner Security

    Albany International is one of more than 50 airports seeking to establish a registered traveler program with compatible equipment, procedures and a networked computer database.