Department of Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano told a conference of travel and tourism industry leaders gathered in Las Vegas that the prospect of shoe bombing remains a threat to aviation.
“Aviation remains a target. Material taken from Bin Laden’s house in Pakistan confirms that,” she said.
“We are moving away from one size fits all in security,” she added. “Trusted traveller programs are where we are focused. But it is more difficult than you imagine. You need to recognize it only takes one plane to go down.”
Napolitano’s remarks fall on the heels of a report commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association that calls on airlines to create a voluntary “trusted traveler” program similar to a mandatory one previously proposed by president Bush and rejected by Congress.
TSA administrator and former deputy FBI director John Pistole told the Wall Street Journal that the agency would use data from frequent-flier programs, which many carriers have kept for decades, to identify potential "trusted travelers,” the Boston Globe reports. Boarding passes of individuals in the program would be marked with a bar code, and those passengers would go through an expedited screening line after presenting their passes and valid identification.
In order to use the program and avoid intrusive pat-downs and dangerous backscatter radiation naked body scanners, flyers would be required to submit biometric and biographical information, pass robust background checks and be verified by TSA at the time of travel to pass through an alternative security process, USA Today reported last December.
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