The U.S. House of Representatives this week is expected to approve a pilot program that would exempt the (TSA) from screening checked baggage arriving from international pre-clearance airports.
The House will consider the Senate version of the No Hassle Flying Act of 2012 under a parliamentary procedure that would limit debate and bar amendments to the bill. “We feel confident it will pass,” Patricia Rojas, U.S. Travel Association VP-government affairs, tells Aviation Week.
The bill would eliminate redundant screenings of bags arriving in the U.S. from pre-clearance airports, most of which are in Canada and Ireland. The travel industry long has pushed for this bill as a way to ease travel for passengers connecting to other flights in the U.S. “It eliminates duplicate screenings,” says Rojas.
If this pilot program works, Rojas says U.S. Travel and other groups will push for the pre-clearance program to be expanded. “We see this as the first step toward bilateral agreements with other countries,” Rojas says.
Lawmakers supporting the bill say it will free up TSA resources and will augment the agency’s other risk-based security measures.