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by Loren G. Edelstein | December 22, 2010

Nearly two in every three air travelers would fly more if security procedures remained as effective but were less intrusive and time-consuming, according to a report released yesterday by the U.S. Travel Association. Based on a survey of 1,000 travelers conducted by Concensus Research Group over the past few weeks, travelers would take an average of 2.48 more trips per year if the hassle could be reduced without compromising security effectiveness. These additional trips could add $84.6 billion in spending and 888,000 more jobs to the U.S. economy. The findings will support the final recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel for Frictionless Security, a group of 20 industry experts established last March by the U.S. Travel Association and charged with suggesting ways for the government to establish a secure, efficient and customer-friendly security-screening process. Among the panel members are Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security; Robert Crandall, former president and CEO of American Airlines; Jim Turner, former Democratic congressman and former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee; Dave Bronzek, president and CEO of FedEx Corp.; and Sam Gilliland, president and CEO of Sabre Holdings. The panel will issue its report by the end of January. Of travelers surveyed, 54 percent believe Congress should make air travel security a top priority in the new term that begins in January.