Taking a Risk-Based Approach to
Regional Director, Office of Global Strategies
Transportation Security Administration
Layered Security Approach
TSA uses layers of security as part of a risk-based approach to protecting passengers and
our nation’s transportation systems. Multiple layers combine to create a much stronger
Although checkpoint operations are the most visible layer, they represent just one part of
TSA’s security system.
Risk-Based Passenger Security Overview
TSA is undertaking efforts to provide the most effective security in the most efficient
way and improve the passenger experience at airport security checkpoints by applying
an intelligence-driven risk-based approach.
1. The majority of airline passengers are low risk.
2. The more information available on each passenger, the easier it is to assess risk.
3. Behavior detection and interviewing techniques should be strengthened in the screening
4. TSA must accelerate its efforts to optimize screening processes and the use of technology
to gain system-wide efficiencies.
5. Increase security by focusing on unknowns; expedite known/trusted travelers.
Guiding Principles of Risk-Based Security
Risk-Based Security: Longer-Term, Strategic Objectives
Risk-Based Security: Longer-Term, Strategic Objectives
“We are looking at other ways to screen
smarter and use our resources in a fiscally
responsible way to provide the most effective
security as efficiently as possible, to strengthen
security and measurably improve the travel
experience for everyone.”
– Administrator John Pistole
Expedited Screening Entry Points
There are several ways to receive the expedited screening experience including:
• TSA Pre✓™ available at 40 airports
• DoD available at 10 airports
• CBP Trusted Travelers including Global Entry, SENTRI and NEXUS
• Clearance holders and other low risk populations
• Certain frequent flyers
• Managed Inclusion available at 10 airports
• Known Crew Member available at 29 airports
• 12 & Under, 75 & Older
TSA Pre✓™ Expedited Screening Initiatives
Passengers become eligible for expedited screening to access TSA Pre™ expedited screening lanes
through various mechanisms including membership in U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted
Traveler programs or through partner airlines by meeting TSA established frequent flyer eligibility and
opt-in criteria. If TSA determines a passenger is qualified, the low- risk status designation is embedded in
the passenger’s boarding pass. By placing more focus on prescreening, TSA is able to expedite physical
screening for known passengers while increasing system-wide effectiveness.
Over 13 million TSA Pre™ passengers have been screened to date.
DoD CAC Card
Active Duty Military Members, Reserve and National Guard may receive TSA Pre✓™ screening at 10
airports by presenting their DOD Common Access Card (CAC) card to be scanned.
434,075 have been screened since November 2011. The program is currently pursuing a list-based DoD
solution which does not require a CAC card to be scanned. This will enable active duty military to access
TSA Pre✓™ at all 40 airports.
As part of the Transportation Security Administration’s risk-based approach to aviation security, the
agency is evaluating the use of explosive detection canines and behavior detection to conduct “real time”
threat assessments in an effort to improve security, efficiency and the passenger experience.
After an initial risk-based assessment by Passenger Screening Canines and Behavior Detection Officers, a
TSA Officer will verify the traveler’s boarding pass and identification. A random generator, currently an
electronic floor mat with directional arrows, randomly designates whether the cleared passenger is to
proceed to the TSA Pre✓™ lane or standard screening lanes.
Other Expedited Screening Initiatives
Initiative Description and Status (As of July 2013)
Initiative pursued jointly by Airlines for America (A4A), Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) and the
Transportation Security Administration that allows Flight Deck crew members to enter the sterile airport
area through specific designated crew access points using alternate screening procedures which make
screening more efficient.
KCM average daily volume is 50,000. Over 7.8 million have been screened since the program started in
August 2011. Currently at 29 airports and 40 airlines with expansion plans underway.
Children 12 and
Modified screening procedures at all airports (not just TSA Pre✓™ airports) for passengers 12 years of
age and younger that allows them to keep their shoes on.
Since this nationwide initiative started in August 2011, over 44 million children have been screened.
Passenger 75 and
Modified screening procedures at all airports (not just TSA Pre✓™ airports) enabling passengers 75 and
older to keep shoes and light outer garments on during screening process.
Since this nationwide initiative started in March 2012, over 19 million adults 75 and older have been
WW II Honor Flight
Policy decision to exempt WWII Veterans on chartered Honor Flights from physical screening.
Nationwide implementation completed in Summer 2011. Since implementation approximately 9,500
Honor Flight passengers have been screened.
TSA Pre™ Passenger Experience at the Airport
TSA Pre™ Experience
Shorter wait times
Improved customer experience
No Divestiture of
3-1-1 compliant bag
TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport
and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening.
1. Access the TSA Pre™ lane (children age 12 and under traveling with a parent or
2. Present boarding pass and ID to the Travel Document Checker
3. Scan barcode and boarding pass
4. If directed by the Travel Document Checker, proceed through the TSA Pre™ lane
where you will receive expedited screening
Real Time Threat Assessment
at the airport
Risk-Based Physical Screening
Random and Unpredictable Screening Procedures
No Divestiture of:
• 3-1-1 compliant bag
• Light outerwear/jacket
Officer (TSO) directs
passenger to screening
How it works:
•Passengers provide data to
TSA Secure Flight through
•Secure Flight conducts
watch list matching,
analyzes passenger risk and
delivers result to airline
•Airline places risk
designation in boarding pass
TSA Pre™ Expedited Passenger Screening Experience
TSA Pre™ Airline Participation
TSA currently partners with six airlines to provide TSA Pre✓™ by putting the low-risk
designation in the barcode of the boarding pass. In addition, Southwest Airlines and
JetBlue will participate in TSA Pre✓™ by the end of Calendar Year 2013.
Currently, Delta, United, American and US Airways provide a TSA Pre✓™ indicator on boarding passes.
Additionally, TSA is partnering with additional airlines to update their systems to include printing the
TSA Pre✓™ indicator on the face of the boarding pass.
TSA’s Partnership with CBP
U.S. citizens who are members of CBP's fee-based Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry,
SENTRI, and NEXUS plus Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS are eligible to participate in TSA
Pre✓™ when they travel on a participating airline.
Allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers
upon arrival in the United States.
Allows prescreened travelers expedited processing by United
States and Canadian officials at dedicated processing lanes,
ports of entry, NEXUS kiosks and marine reporting locations.
Allows members access to a dedicated commuter lane that
expedites crossing into the United States from Mexico.
CBP Trusted Traveler
• Security demands an unpredictable process
• Unpredictable measures assist in deterrence
• Variation from routine motivates staff
• Passengers desire a consistent experience
• Unpredictable screening is difficult to quantify
• The TSA “Playbook” consists of a set of additional
security measures, or “plays,” that are applied on a
random and unpredictable basis.
• “Plays” can be selected by both TSA Headquarters and
by Airport Federal Security Directors (FSDs) to
mitigate national and local/airport-specific threats
o Range of actions for persons
other than passengers
Future Risk-Based Security Initiatives
TSA Pre✓™ Application Process is a TSA program that will allow pre-approved,
low-risk travelers, to experience expedited screening at TSA Pre✓™ airport
Fee Based Program
Similar length of validity as CBP Trusted Traveler programs
U.S. Passport will not be required
TSA Pre✓™ Risk Assessment will use existing Secure Flight Passenger Data to
identify low-risk travelers for expedited screening. This method will be used in
order to increase the number of eligible passengers on a trip-by-trip basis:
TSA Pre✓™ Risk Assessment will be applicable to all airline passengers
traveling on TSA Pre✓™ participating airlines
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