Reno Airport Trustees Approve Lease for Traveler Program

Travelers willing to submit to background checks and pay for the privilege of shorter security lines at airports could find an easier time at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Airport Authority trustees on Thursday approved a lease for Unisys Corp. to set up an enrollment office near the baggage area. For $100, interested travelers can submit paperwork, be photographed and have their fingerprints and eyes scanned.

The information is then given to the Transportation Security Administration. Upon approval, those passengers are allowed to go
through separate and shorter lines at most airport security check points.

Reno airport officials said the system could be operating in Reno by mid May.

Once the first customer in Reno wins approval from the TSA to participate in the program, Unisys will begin operating kiosks at both security areas, said Hal Bostic, senior director of airport operations and public safety.

"The verification kiosks are relatively compact," Bostic said. "There really won't be that dramatic of a change at the checkpoints. The experience with this is that for people enrolled, it is a very quick verification process."

Passengers still must pass through security checkpoints with metal detectors, but identification cards that match their biological data will allow them to use a separate line that will move faster.

They will join regular passengers just before the X-ray machines where security agents check identification and boarding passes, Bostic said.

The airport has sent Unisys the names of 70 people who indicated they want to join, Bostic said.

The company expects 15,000 to 20,000 people in the area to join the program, which will allow them the same security access in other airports using a registered-traveler program.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)