A scheme to let non-flyers through the security gates

By The Economist online

In an era of strict security checks and other inconveniences for air travel, one American airport is making a sharp move in the opposite direction. On September 5th, Pittsburgh International will become the first American airport since the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001 to allow people who are not booked on a flight to pass through security. Families will be able to see loved ones off as they board their flight. Children will be able to join a travelling parent to watch planes take off. Friends will be able to eat and shop at the stores that flyers normally frequent (in Pittsburgh, some retailers, such as Hugo Boss, Armani Jeans and Bar Symon, only have shops in the airport).

Pittsburgh International has been pushing for years for this change, which flies in the face of the Transportation Security Administration’s policy of trying to reduce the number of people and bags going through the meticulous checks. However, non-travellers will still be subject to inspections as rigorous as those for flyers. And to enter security they will first have to show their ID at a designated counter, where their names will be scanned on the no-fly-list database, in order to receive a one-day pass that lets them through. The scheme will initially run just from 9am to 5pm on weekdays, but it is hoped the hours will be extended.

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Category: Business and finance, Gulliver

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