TSA's PreCheck program finds success in Syracuse

Oct 30, 2013

The PreCheck program at Hancock International Airport in Syracuse has exceeded expectations so far, and the Transportation Security Administration says it's expanding the expedited screening program.

"This makes flying fun again, it's just like the old days," says Darry Srago, a frequent flyer out of Hancock. He's happy with the PreCheck program because it makes getting through security easier.

"I can leave my shoes on, I can leave my belt on," Srago said. "Don't have to take the computer out of the bag. Don't have to take the liquid out of the bag. And unless you forget something, you're good to go."

Srago got his PreCheck status through his airline. TSA Federal Security Director for Syracuse, John McCaffrey, says about 1,000 passengers a day use the PreCheck program, which allows selected passengers to avoid what have become security hassles in recent years. McCaffrey says it ultimately lets security forces focus on the passengers who may be a security threat.

"This allows us to spend more time on the person we don't know very much about, and we want to learn more about them," McCaffrey said. "So we can engage them in conversation through our behavior detection officers, and make sure they're okay."

So far 30 percent of passengers are using the PreCheck option, according to McCaffrey. They had only targeted 25 percent. Still he says one of the biggest issues is getting the word out.

"The biggest problem we have is educating the public that they have this option," McCaffrey said. "And we want them to look at their boarding pass to see if they have the PreCheck logo on there, so they don't have to stand in the other line and can come to the PreCheck line."

Some passengers get the PreCheck status as frequent fliers through their airlines. The number of airlines involved in Syracuse is expanding in coming weeks.

For more information about PreCheck, go to the TSA website.