by By Hunter R. Slaton | September 01, 2009

Even before the June shutdown of Verified Identity Pass Inc. and its Clear lanes, the umbrella Registered Traveler expedited airport security program was flying troubled skies. An April 23 report by the Congressional Research Service stated that RT's future "now seems uncertain, as the benefits to both the Transportation Security Administration and program participants, based on experience during testing, appear to be much more limited than originally anticipated."

A smaller RT company, Vigilant Solutions, closed soon after Verified Identity Pass, and the lone remaining provider, FLO Corp., suspended its lanes at Nevada's Reno-Tahoe airport, although FLO is still in business.

Despite these setbacks, the National Business Travel Association and FLO are attempting to persuade U.S. airports and the TSA to breathe new life into RT. In mid-July, FLO chairman and CEO Glenn Argenbright sent NBTA a letter stating that FLO has offered "to reopen or initiate service at about 12 airports nationwide." He noted that backing from the airports is needed and urged members to contact local politicians and airport officials to express  their support for RT.

Following FLO's missive, NBTA president and CEO Kevin Maguire sent a request to 21 airports that previously had RT lanes, urging them to work with the TSA and airlines to reopen the lanes.

But the airlines' support is uncertain, and a TSA spokesperson said RT is not the agency's concern, as it is "purely a private-sector program."