Security and efficiency are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they are equally important and equally achievable objectives.

Expanding trusted traveler programs, which adhere to rigorous pre-screening processes, can help alleviate long security lines while enhancing national security by freeing more resources to focus on unknown travelers.

Quick Facts

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched TSA PreCheck in 2011 to expedite screening for low-risk travelers. The move to an intelligence-driven, risk-based initiative helped TSA move away from a one-size-fits-all model. This allowed TSA to maintain high security standards while making the process less burdensome for qualified travelers. TSA PreCheck is now available at more than 180 U.S. airports and about 4 million frequent travelers are enrolled in the program.

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Global Entry is a win-win for both the U.S. and participating countries—travelers enjoy an efficient, secure entry process, and the information sharing and cooperation involved are good for diplomatic relations and security. There are 5 million individuals enrolled in Global Entry, which is operational at 47 airports, including 13 Preclearance locations.

The CBP Preclearance program thoroughly vets travelers in approved international airports that meet CBP’s rigorous security standards prior to arrival in the U.S. This helps reduce the workload for customs agents at U.S. ports of entry, allowing agents to focus resources on higher-risk targets. Currently, ten airports in 9 countries have Preclearance options and that number is expected to grow.  

U.S. Travel is continually working with our federal partners to identify ways to increase domestic and international participation in trusted traveler programs. 

 

TSA Report: Transforming Security at Airports

Recommendations

Promote Trusted Traveler Programs

Increasing resources to market TSA PreCheck and Global Entry would help enroll a larger segment of air traveler, effectively shrinking the pool of unknown travelers. The more travelers enrolled, the shorter wait times will be at airport security and the safer travelers will be as a whole.

Streamline the TSA PreCheck application process

Simplifying the two-step online and in-person enrollment process by working with the private sector to collect biometric information via kiosks or mobile platforms would increase application accessibility and effectively motivate millions to enroll in TSA PreCheck.

Expand Global Entry and Preclearance

Congress and the CBP should significantly expand the successful Global Entry and Preclearance programs that expedite screening for pre-approved, low-risk international travelers. By removing known, low-risk travelers from the regular screening process, expanding these programs enables CBP to focus resources on potentially riskier unknown travelers.

Research, News and Commentary on Trusted Traveler Programs

Travel’s Role in Trump’s First 100 Days—And in America’s Future

January 19, 2017

Travel played a pivotal part in many of 2016’s biggest stories. Here’s why travel is so important to our country’s future—and how U.S. Travel will make that known in the early days of the new administration.

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APC and Global Entry Kiosks

Welcome to Global Entry, Switzerland

January 18, 2017

U.S. Travel applauds Switzerland’s addition to this valuable trusted traveler program, which allows expedited clearance for pre-vetted travelers.

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Championing Travel for 75 Years

November 18, 2016

Seventy-five years ago, this association was founded to spur travel to and within the U.S., and has served as a unifying voice ever since.

View the Video

U.S. Travel Research Round-Up: Thanksgiving Travel Forecasts, Plus Tapering International Interest Pre-Election

November 18, 2016

Here’s a sampling of November 2016’s most compelling findings from the U.S. Travel research team.

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Planning Holiday Travel? Now is the Time to Join TSA PreCheck

November 18, 2016

Applications take an average of three weeks to process, so starting the enrollment process now ensures smooth travels by mid-December.

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Roger Dow Commentary

Transforming Security at Airports: How Can the TSA Improve Itself?

November 16, 2016

A new U.S. Travel Association report offers recommendations to help the TSA address mounting threats while efficiently processing travelers.

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