Local

January 30, 2014

Want to keep your shoes on? You can now apply for faster airport screening in Lenexa

The now familiar drill to air travelers — jacket and shoes off, laptop bared and tiny liquid bottles scrutinized — may become rarer for some Kansas City area residents. The federal government has opened an application site in Lenexa for its Transportation Security Administration PreCheck program, a system that provides “expedited” screening for approved passengers.

The now familiar drill to air travelers — jacket and shoes off, laptop bared and tiny liquid bottles scrutinized — may become rarer for some Kansas City area residents.

The federal government has opened an application site in Lenexa for its Transportation Security Administration PreCheck program, a system that provides “expedited” screening for approved passengers.

Designed for low-risk passengers, the prescreening system involves completing an application at

www.tsa.gov

followed by an appointment at the TSA PreCheck center at 8819 Long St.

The advance screening is for U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents only, and it includes a government review of online databases such as employment information and car registrations.

TSA said last year that it expected to allow about one-fourth of air travelers access to the expedited screening lines at airports by the end of this year. But the security agency also said “random and unpredictable” screening would continue and no one was guaranteed expedited screening.

Once approved, expedited fliers will be able to leave on their shoes, outerwear and belt and keep their legal liquids and laptops in their carry-on luggage.

TSA is opening about 300 application centers around the country where prescreening applicants give their fingerprints and show proof of identity and citizenship or immigration status.

The process requires a background check by the government, including past travels and law enforcement history, and payment of $85 for a five-year expedited approval. Approved travelers are assigned a KTN — Known Traveler Number.

Nine major U.S. airlines at more than 100 airports, including Kansas City International, use the system. The program, already rolled out elsewhere in the nation, has attracted 30 million passenger so far, TSA said this week.

Participating airlines are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.

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