U.S., Dutch launch traveler program

The United States and the Netherlands are launching a "trusted traveler" program to speed up security checks for selected travelers between Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who was visiting The Hague this week on his first European trip as secretary, announced the program with Dutch Minister Rita Verdonk.

The initiative is expected to begin testing in late summer for volunteers willing to submit to a security pre-screening and to provide biometric data such as a fingerprint and iris scan, according to the Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau, which is the Netherlands national news agency.

Volunteers selected to participate will be allowed to pass through customs without extensive security checks.

However, passage through the airports may not be as breezy as expected, according to Jack Riepe, communications director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives.

"People think it's going to be like an E-Z Pass," Riepe said of the new Dutch-U.S. program. "But many people don't realize that you will still be subjected to pre-9/11-level security checks."

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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