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Security Precheck program coming to Buffalo airport

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It's soon going to be easier to board a plane at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, at least for some. Anyone who travels has horror stories about the process of going through TSA checkpoints at airports. Some of that may soon be changing locally, as a new system takes effect October 1. 

The federal agency is adding 60 airports around the country which can use the Pre-Check program. The idea is to separate out passengers who meet special qualifications, like having a NEXUS card, and pushing them through a different passenger lane. Other passengers would go through the same process they go through now

NFTA Public Affairs Director Douglas Hartmayer says the new program will help both Americans and Canadians.
   
"It will greatly reduce the time and efforts that participants will have to take when clearing our checkpoint. In addition, it should be especially enticing I'd like to add to our many Canadian customers who experience a much more lengthy check-in process at their airports at home," Hartmayer says.

Hartmayer says when passengers approach the screening area, there will one lane to the left for those who qualify for quick passage, like NEXUS lanes at the border bridges. He says any extra costs are being paid by TSA, not by the authority.

Around half the travelers through the airport are Canadians, many with NEXUS cards which require background checks and other screening.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.