air travel, interoperability, trusted traveler

Travelers and Feds agree: Trusted traveler programs should be bigger

With the first person account of the enrollment process at the beginning, the story starts badly for biometrics. What follows is a very good discussion of various trusted traveler programs and how they could fit together in a future air travel identity management landscape.

Travelers Welcome a Customs Shortcut (New York Times)

The programs are all based on the concept of risk management, rather than the unattainable goal of total risk elimination. The idea is to develop standard criteria so the programs can work better with each other. They include Global Entry for international airport arrivals, as well as land-crossing programs like Sentri on the Mexican border (which is also open to approved Mexican citizens), and Nexus, a joint entry program between the United States and Canada.

They also include PreCheck, a program of the Transportation Security Administration that speeds screening at select domestic airports for passengers designated as trusted travelers.

The T.S.A. is working to expand eligibility for PreCheck beyond high-volume travelers chosen by airlines. The agency’s administrator, John S. Pistole, told me he wanted to develop a domestic program that he called “Global Entry Lite,” partly using Global Entry criteria, to increase PreCheck eligibility.

It’s good to see many of our regular themes — unattainability of perfection, interoperability, scalability — getting their due in this article.

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