East Hawaii News

Kona Airport Added to TSA’s PreCheck Program

September 4, 2013, 10:34 AM HST
* Updated September 4, 11:52 AM
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The Transporation Security Administration has expanded its PreCheck Program to include Kona International Airport and the Kahului, Maui and Lihue, Kauai airports.

Also, the TSA will be expanding the number of PreCheck lanes at Honolulu International Airport, US Sen. Brian Schatz said today.

Schatz in June asked the agency to expand the program to include interisland flights in Hawaii.

The PreCheck program allows low-risk passengers to move quickly through checkpoint screening.

The pre-screening involves US citizens who are select frequent travelers of participating airlines using dedicated TSA “Pre™” lanes at participating airports. At those lanes passengers don’t have to remove shoes or belts, or laptops or “3-1-1” compliant bags of liquids from carry-on luggage.

“As an island state, Hawaii has unique travel needs,” Schatz said in a statement issued today.

“By making it easier for the 16,000 to 18,000 passengers who travel daily between the four major islands to commute, we are allowing room for economic growth and expansion,” he said.

It was not immediately clear why Hilo International Airport was not included in the Pre-Check expansion, although it could be related to the amount of passenger traffic.

According to the state Department of Transportation, in 2011, both the Kona and Lihue airports saw about twice as much traffic as Hilo, which had 1.25 million passengers. Kahului handled more than four times as many passengers that year.

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