Fast Sea-Tac security clearance for military
Sea-Tac Airport next week will become the second airport in the country to offer active-duty military members an expedited trip through pre-flight security checks.
Military on active duty or engaged in active drills will be allowed to move through the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck line at the airport’s north security check station behind the United and Alaska airlines counters beginning at 4 a.m. Tuesday, said the TSA. The service applies to any airline the service member is flying.
Ordinarily, passengers cleared to enter the PreCheck line won’t have to remove their shoes, belts or light coats, said TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers. They won’t have to remove their laptops or their toiletries from their baggage, she said.
PreCheck line passengers will still undergo an X-ray of their baggage and step through a metal detector. They will skip the full-body scan and the pat-down in most circumstances unless the metal detector alarms or the TSA has to check out other anomalies.
The PreCheck-eligible status doesn’t guarantee a less intrusive security inspection, said Dankers. The security agency reserves the right to subject any passengers to further screening, she said.
The military and TSA rolled out PreCheck eligibility at Washington’s Reagan National Airport on March 20, said Lt. Col. Robert L. Ditchey II, a Pentagon spokesman. The government picked Sea-Tac as the second airport to offer military members swifter screening because of the volume of military travel through the airport and the number of military bases in the Puget Sound area.
PreCheck has been offered to a select group of civilian travelers at 14 airports including Sea-Tac since earlier this year. Those travelers are either high frequency fliers selected by the three airlines, Alaska, Delta and American, participating in the program or travelers enrolled in one of Customs and Border Protection’s other pre-clearance programs.
Those frequent fliers invited by the airlines to participate have to fill out extra paperwork and undergo a background check before they receive a clearance code. Military members won’t have to fill out more forms, said Ditchey.
Military members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and the reserves or National Guard, must present their Common Access Card to the TSA screener for entry into the expedited security line.
Those TSA screeners will use a card reader with a computer link to Defense Department databases to confirm their identity and active duty status before allowing them to enter the line.
Military members’ families aren’t eligible for the PreCheck line unless they qualify otherwise, said Ditchey.