Yesterday, Senator Brian Schatz sent a letter to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole requesting that TSA expand the PreCheck program to include interisland flights in the State of Hawaii.
PreCheck enables low-risk passengers to move more quickly through checkpoint screening while allowing TSA to focus on passengers considered higher risk. Passengers participating in PreCheck lanes are not required to remove shoes and outerwear or laptops from bags. Expanding the PreCheck program would expedite security screening for Hawaii's residents, workers, and tourists traveling to and from the neighbor islands, and thus promote the state's tourism industry and strengthen its local economy. Right now, TSA's PreCheck program is only available at Honolulu Airport and 39 other major cities across the country.
"Hawaii has a unique need as an island state for efficient interisland travel, and flights are often necessary for residents to visit family, the doctor, and business associates," said Senator Brian Schatz. "Between 16,000 and 18,000 passengers travel daily between the four major islands, closely linking air transportation to Hawai"i's business development and the visitor industry. The easier we make it for people to fly, the more we will open the door to opportunities for economic growth."
"Our unique island setting requires many blue collar workers to regularly fly to their jobs on a neighbor islands," said Reggie Castanares, Business Manager for UA Local 675, Plumbers and Fitters of Hawaii. "Establishing the PreCheck protocol for neighbor island travel would greatly enhance the daily work experience for the plumbers and fitters of UA Local 675 who begin their work day at an airport."
"Pre-check lanes for interisland travel would greatly improve the ability of our kama'aina customers to move more quickly and efficiently between different cities in our state," said Mark Dunkerley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hawaiian Airlines. "It's a very important issue for our guests and we appreciate Sen. Schatz's support for more pre-check lanes at all of the airports in Hawai'i."