Program to speed troops through Colorado Springs Airport

Published: December 8, 2013, 12:00 am

by tom roeder tom.roeder@gazette.com -

Military travelers will be able to take an express line through security checks at the Colorado Springs Airport under a program rolling out Dec. 20.

Under the Transportation Security Administration program, troops can qualify for the Pre-Check program, a special security lane, at Colorado Springs and dozens of other airports by using the military identification number as a “Known Traveler Number” when booking flights online or through the Defense Travel System.

Colorado Springs Airport interim director Dan Gallagher said he’s been working with TSA for weeks to bring the faster checks for troops to Colorado Springs.

“We have added an extra lane for Pre-Check travelers,” he said.

TSA allows known travelers, which includes civilians enrolled in the Pre-Check program, to get to gates through a special, speedy security line.

Qualified travelers can keep their light jackets, belts and shoes on and leave their laptops in cases.

Civilians must sign up for the program and pay a fee to apply. Details can be found at www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck.

But military members, by using their Defense Department ID number, are qualified.

“Members of the U.S. Armed Forces are entrusted to protect the security and values of citizens with their lives and as such TSA recognizes that these members pose very little risk to aviation security,” the agency said in a news release.

The Pre-Check lanes have already been tested at the nation’s biggest airports, including Denver International.

The program’s success is leading to a rollout Dec. 20 at another 100 locations including Colorado Springs.

Gallagher said the speedier security lane for troops adds to other military-aimed services at his airport.

“We do more than just recognize them,” he said.

The airport now has a special security lane for wounded troops and is working with the USO to beef up services for military passengers.

Gallagher said troops with questions about military services at the airport can get quick answers.

“We have volunteers in the airport wearing red vests, and if they have any questions, we can help them when they get on-site,” he said.