CLEAR Plans to Speed Up Airport Security
Prior to 2009, a company known as CLEAR provided frequent travelers with an option for speeding up airport security checkpoints. In 2009, CLEAR went out of business, but it was bought out of bankruptcy by new owners who are now attempting to expand the business once again, this time by attempting to establish a partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the New York Times reports.
CLEAR works by providing a security lane through which preapproved members can pass quickly and efficiently, saving travelers the time it would usually take to check into the airport. To become eligible, potential members must meet requirements, which can be found on CLEAR’s website. Potential members can register online, after which they will be required to visit an enrollment center, where CLEAR will take biometric data — iris imaging and fingerprints — and background information, all of which will be stored on the member’s CLEARcard. Membership costs $179 a year.
Once enrolled, members can scan their cards at kiosks in participating airports, and then pass through the check-in process without any holdups. This system is currently implemented in two airports — Orlando, Fla. and Denver — and CLEAR plans to establish lanes in San Francisco and Dallas-Fort Worth by May. According to the New York Times, CLEAR hopes to expand to 25 additional airports as they grow, with the goal of making the option available to travelers across the nation.
As CLEAR lanes stand right now, they speed up the check-in process to travelers up until they pass the CLEAR checkpoint. After the checkpoint, members must go through the same procedures as all other travelers, which means they still have the potential to be delayed by security. To extend their reach, CLEAR hopes to join forces with TSA’s PreCheck program, which streamlines security procedures for low-risk travelers. According to the New York Times, CLEAR has sent a proposal to TSA outlining a potential partnership, which CLEAR believes will be mutually beneficial. TSA officials are currently reviewing the proposal.
CLEAR shows a lot of potential and initiative. It already consists of nearly 200,000 members, and plans on expanding and adding new technology as it develops further. As a result, CLEAR chief executive Caryn Seidman-Becker believes that CLEAR will have a lot to offer TSA if they establish a partnership. Whether or not they do, however, CLEAR plans on continuing on a path of growth.