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Airport Magazine

House Hearing Examines TSA PreCheck Program, Use of Canines

top story photo Wendy Reiter, Director of Aviation Security for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, testified on behalf of AAAE at a hearing entitled "Assessing the TSA Checkpoint: The PreCheck Program and Airport Wait Times" held Thursday by the House Transportation and Protective Security Subcommittee.

In her testimony, Reiter stressed both the security and efficiency value of passenger screening canines. She stated that, even though SEA consistently encounters issues with canine availability, canines are the best possible investment that TSA can make given their screening accuracy, their assessment of real-time threats rather than PreCheck's vetting of background risks, and the significant efficiency gains they provide.

"We have significant concerns about reducing the ability to offer modified screening for general lane passengers screened by canines," Reiter said. "We strongly support efforts to maximize TSA PreCheck enrollment. However, we know that one of the biggest threats to airports and passengers' security is long wait times that create soft targets. Reducing the throughput benefits of canines will increase that threat by more than doubling wait times at Sea-Tac's general screening lanes."

TSA Executive Assistant Administrator for Security Operations Darby LaJoye outlined the agency's preparations in advance of the busy summer travel season, when TSA expects to screen between 2.1 and 2.5 million passengers per day at 441 airports across the country.

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