After more than a year of promise and preparation, Registered Traveler has finally expanded beyond Orlando International Airport. Programs designed to speed enrolled travelers through specially designated airport security lanes have launched at several airports, and the Transportation Security Administration has given the green light to additional Registered Traveler providers.
Airports in Cincinnati; San Jose, Calif.; and Indianapolis all opened Registered Traveler lanes in January. In addition, British Airways on January 16 opened an RT lane at Terminal 7 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
The Registered Traveler provider in all of these cases is Verified Identity Pass Inc., which operates an RT program called Clear. New York–based Verified opened the first Registered Traveler lanes at Orlando International Airport two years ago.
Verified also has agreements in place with Air France and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Air France will sponsor a Registered Traveler program at JFK International Airport’s Terminal 1, which is expected to start screening passengers later this month, while Virgin Atlantic in March will bring “fast-lane” security to its passengers at Newark International Airport’s Terminal B.
According to Verified, 35,000 people nationwide have signed up for the Clear program. Participants pay a fee ($99.95) to be pre-screened by the TSA and receive a biometric identity card that provides them with expedited passage through Registered Traveler security checkpoints.
Right now Verified is the only RT provider operating at U.S. airports, but other companies are in position to roll out programs as well. Unisys Corp. of Blue Bell, Pa., plans to have a Registered Traveler program up and running at Reno-Tahoe International Airport in late February. Verant Identification Systems Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., and Saflink Corp. of Kirkland, Wash., have also been approved by TSA to operate Registered Traveler programs.
Verified has also introduced new shoe-scanning technology at its Clear lanes in Orlando. The technology detects the presence of metal and explosives in shoes, allowing Clear members to pass through without removing their shoes if they show no presence of metal or explosives. Verified is also working on a technology that will allow Clear members to go through its lanes without removing coats or other outer garments.