$85 could save you a lot of time at the airport


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – McGee Tyson Airport officials will host an enrollment event for the Transportation Safety Administration’s Precheck screening program beginning next Monday, Sept. 23, through Friday, Oct. 4. Event hours are from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The program allows prescreened, low-risk flyers to essentially bypass traditional TSA lines, go through a security line of their own without taking off their shoes, belt, or removing liquids and laptops from their luggage. Put simply: It’s a whole lot faster.

TSA Precheck has more than 450 lanes at more than 200 U.S. airports, according to a news release sent by the airport authority.

If you want to apply, airport officials encourage you to first pre-enroll here, then click “Apply Now” and fill out the first four step.

On step four, indicate “Knoxville, TN” as your location to take part in the airport’s two-week enrollment event.

To complete the process, you need proof of identity and U.S. citizenship, such as a U.S. passport or a birth certificate, with a driver license.

Enrollment cost is $85 and enrollment is good for five years.

TSA’s East Tennessee Assistant Federal Security Director Eddie McGahah said Monday he hopes to grow the amount of prechecked people locally.

McGahah said 9.2 million nationally participate currently. He said there are about 400 slots available for people interested in the Precheck TYS event. There is a permanent Precheck enrollment center, where you can get fingerprinted and background check documentation completed, at 9080 Barbee Lane in Knoxville off Ebenezer Road.

McGhee Tyson airport spokesperson Caitlin Darras said Monday the airport has seen a 20% increase in passengers this summer from the previous year. She also said the growing lines shock many, because they’re not used to seeing them in Knoxville.

Darras believes the airports upcoming fourth TSA lane, coupled with more Precheck passengers coming through the airport, will help alleviate the problem.

Darras also reminds passengers as we approach their busiest season, October, followed by the holidays, to arrive at the airport two hours before flight times to make sure there is enough time to park, meet with airlines and get through security.

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