15:40 PM

New TSA Program Improves Customer Service

(February 20, 2013) - A new screening procedure at Tampa International Airport is getting passengers through security to their departure gates with increased efficiency and ease.

The program, called Managed Inclusion, allows certain passengers to go through screening at Airside E without having to remove their outer jackets, belts, shoes, 3-1-1 allowed liquids and laptops from their carry-on bags.

“We are trying to improve the customer service without compromising the security,” said Gary Milano, Federal Security Director for Transportation Security Administration.

Managed Inclusion, an initiative TSA began piloting in Tampa in November builds on an earlier initiative called PreCheck, which provides some Delta Frequent Flyers and members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Trusted Traveler Programs with expedited screening services while they’re traveling domestically.

TPA and Indianapolis Airport are the only two airports in the U.S. where Managed Inclusion is being piloted right now.

“Managed Inclusion increases the number of people who are going through PreCheck, so it’s a more efficient and pleasant experience for those who can take advantage of it,” Milano said. “It’s also made things better for everyone else because more passengers going through lane six makes lanes one through five much freer and quicker due to less traffic.”

The new procedure consists of three steps. First, specially trained canines take in passengers’ scents while they’re exiting the two shuttles coming into Airside E.

Then TSA Behavioral Detection Officers observe and interact with passengers after they have passed the dogs. If a passenger doesn’t exhibit indicators that could warrant further inspection, he or she is cleared for Managed Inclusion.

Managed Inclusion is based on extensive psychological research, said Sari Koshetz, public affairs manager for U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “It’s a program based on behaviors,” she said. “We’ve worked with behavioral specialists over the years to develop and pilot the program.”

Finally, cleared passengers step on a mat, which randomly points with an arrow to either the Managed Inclusion lane or the other five lanes. This third measure is intended to prevent people from gaming the system as passengers cleared by the canines and Behavioral Detection Officers might still have to go through regular screening.

“Since we can now expedite the screening of those we know are low-risk people, we can focus our time, attention and resources on those who we don’t really know what the risk factor is,” Milano said. “The future is to stop treating everyone in a one-size-fits-all manner.”

Milano added that some groups automatically can go through Managed Inclusion lanes, such as children 12 and under and their parents, individuals over 75 years and certain airport crew members. TSA also is working on getting program approval for military personnel and government officials with special security clearance.