SF readies for Registered Traveler

San Francisco International Airport next month expects to become the 10th airport in the country to participate in the national Registered Traveler Program authorized by the Transportation Security Administration. Two more airports are expected to launch the program soon.

Under the Registered Traveler program, which is run by private industry with cooperation from the TSA, members pre-enroll by paying a fee, providing biometric information, undergoing a screening by the TSA and receiving an identification card. Once enrolled, members arriving at participating airports utilize special security lanes promising speedier processing times.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on Aug. 15 announced the opening of two enrollment stations at the airport that will begin registering participants in Registered Traveler. Operation of two fast-pass security screening lanes for participants will begin operating in September, he said.

The San Francisco program will be operated by Clear Registered Traveler, a division of New York-based Verified Identity Pass Inc., which currently offers the program at airports in Albany, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, New York City's JFK, Newark, Orlando, San Jose and Westchester. Clear expects to begin Registered Traveler operations shortly at Little Rock, Ark., and at New York City's LaGuardia.

In addition, Unisys Corp. in June began operating a Registered Traveler program at Reno-Lake Tahoe's airport. Both the Clear and Unisys programs accept ID cards from each other's members.

Clear has enrolled over 55,000 travelers nationwide. It charges an annual fee of $99.95 to participants once they are screened and approved by the TSA.

"Now passengers at San Francisco International Airport can take advantage of Clear's airport security fast-pass program, an offering that combines technology and good customer service," Newsom said. "The service will help participating travelers speed through checkpoints safely and securely."

Steven Brill, founder of Clear, said he expects San Francisco to be a major enrollment center for the program. Participants who enroll at one airport are eligible to benefit from fast security lanes at all participating airports.

"We have already seen enrollment in the Clear program spike on the announcement of San Francisco's desire to launch a program. Now that it is a reality, enrollments across the country and especially in the region have accelerated," Brill said.

Washington's Reagan National and Dulles airports as well as Denver have issued RFPs, and Atlanta is about to issue one as well, according to Brill.

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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