ST. GEORGE – Tired of having to take off your shoes and belt and unpack your laptop when going through airport screenings? Now there is a quicker, easier way and it’s come to the St. George Municipal Airport thanks to the Transportation Security Administration.
“TSA Pre-check is a way we are able to strengthen security while also making the experience more efficient and more convenient for passengers who are TSA Pre-check eligible,” TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said.
Originally running as a pilot program at the airport since spring, TSA has made it a permanent part of the screening process for eligible travelers.
“It’s a move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to security and one that allows us to identify low-risk, trusted travelers to have a different screening experience when coming through the security checkpoint,” Dankers said.
TSA Pre-check is particularly convenient for business travelers, Dankers said, as it allows them to keep their laptops in their carry-on bags.
“I’ve been using it for years,” Bryan Osborn, of Salt Lake City, said while moving through the checkpoint at the airport. “I fly weekly, so it’s been good – it speeds things up … I don’t have to pull out my laptop, take shoes off.”
TSA started the pre-check program at four airports in 2011. The program proved so popular with travelers that it has since expanded to over 130 airports nationwide.
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, the main airlines at the St. George Municipal Airport, both participate in the TSA Pre-check program, as do nine other air carriers.
Dankers said that the most popular aspect of the program among travelers has to do with their shoes.
“The No. 1 things we hear from passengers is that they want to leave on their shoes,” she said.
Occasionally air travelers will find themselves able to take advantage of TSA Pre-check on a flight-by-flight basis, Dankers said, but the service is by no means guaranteed their next time through the airport.
However, individuals have the opportunity to enroll in pre-check services on a consistent basis at a local enrollment center.
How to apply
Pre-enrollment can be done online on the TSA website. After the online steps are completed, individuals are required to make an in-person appearance at the enrollment center where they will need to verify their citizenship or immigration status and be fingerprinted.
The enrollment center for the St. George area is located at OHCI in Rio Plaza at 558 E. Riverside Drive, Suite 203, in St. George. The office is on the second floor next to Kelly Temporary Services, and is open Monday through Thursday, 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m.
While walk-ins are accepted at the St. George location, appointments booked 30 days in advance via the website are encouraged.
The processing fee is a nonrefundable $85.
Once an applicant is approved, they will be supplied with a “Known Traveler Number” and will be able to use the TSA Pre-check lanes at airport security checkpoints where applicable. The Known Traveler Number is valid for five years.
Additional information about the TSA Pre-check program, visit the TSA website.
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