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by Loren Edelstein | July 20, 2011

 The Business Travel Coalition recently applauded Transportation Security Administration administrator John Pistole for taking the next steps in relaunching a trusted-traveler program. "Because of controversies surrounding more aggressive airport security pat-down procedures and full-body imaging machines, recent checkpoint events have shone a bright light on the ineffectiveness and high cost of current aviation system security policy," according to a statement by Kevin Mitchell, BTC chairman. Industry organizations including the American Society of Travel Agents, the Global Business Travel Association and the U.S. Travel Association also have strongly advocated such a "positive profiling" program, to be administered by TSA and financed and implemented by private-sector firms. TSA piloted the program at five airports until the end of fiscal year 2005, at which time the private sector became responsible for much of program. The first iteration of the program failed on virtually every level, according to BTC, and abruptly ended in 2009. The program recently has been revived at a handful of airports. However, the initiative once again will be doomed to failure unless economic and operational modifications are made, BTC maintains. Among BTC's recommendations for change are more robust criminal-history background checks that are recertified at regular intervals; TSA-owned screening technology; and a strategic partnership with an organization owning a nationwide network of thousands of storefronts (e.g., FedEx Kinkos), where enrollment kiosks and staff could be efficiently deployed and where prospective TT members could schedule enrollment appointments conveniently.