New law to speed up airport screening for troops and their families

By Elaine Sanchez
Jan. 5, 2011

Service members on orders and their families traveling with them will be moving through airport screening quicker in about six months.

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law directing the Transportation Security Administration to develop a plan to expedite screening services for troops on orders and in uniform and, “to the extent possible,” their accompanying family members.

Agency officials said they’re working with the Defense Department to review options for these new procedures, so I’m sure we’ll be hearing more on this soon.

While the details are still in the works, the act does call for the agency to establish standard guidelines for the screening of military uniform items, such as combat boots, and for the agency to consider working these new procedures into an existing “trusted passenger program.”

The agency already has some measures in place to aid troops and families through the screening process. Troops in uniform and with a military ID aren’t required to remove boots or shoes unless an alarm goes off.

Also, families who would like to accompany a deploying military loved one to the boarding gate or greet them upon their return may receive passes to enter the secure area of the airport. Families should contact their air carrier representative at the airport for local procedures.

The agency also expedites the screening process for wounded warriors and their families.

(American Forces Press Service)

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