These are sample “blocks” that indicate that blended lanes are in use. They point out to the TSA X-ray operator that carry-on items within the blocks should be screened as though it was a TSA PreCheck lane. (TSA photo)

Updated: More Than 40 Airports Get TSA ‘Blended Lanes’ In Time for the Holidays

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now offering the use of “blended lanes” at seven airports in West Virginia, seven in Massachusetts, eight in North Dakota, six in Maine, 13 in Montana and at Casper/Natrona County International Airport in Wyoming, and Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Tennessee.

Blended lanes provide TSA PreCheck screening to confirmed TSA PreCheck individuals and their accessible property at smaller airports that do not have a dedicated TSA PreCheck checkpoint. At the nation’s larger airports, blended lanes are utilized during off-peak hours when TSA PreCheck passenger volume is too low for dedicated TSA PreCheck lanes.

West Virginia airports using blended lanes include Yeager Airport, Raleigh County Memorial Airport, North Central West Virginia Airport, Huntington Tri-State Airport, Greenbrier Valley Airport, Morgantown Municipal Airport and Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.

Airports offering blended lanes in Massachusetts include Boston Logan International Airport, Nantucket Memorial Airport, Barnstable Municipal Airport, Martha’s Vineyard Airport, Worcester Regional Airport, Provincetown Municipal Airport and Westover Airport.

In North Dakota, TSA began implementing blended lanes at Fargo’s Hector International Airport in June. As of December 16, blended lanes are now available at all of North Dakota’s commercial airports.

The airports introducing blended lanes in Maine are Portland International Jetport, Bangor International Airport, Augusta State Airport, Presque Isle International Airport, Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, and Knox County Regional Airport.

In Montana, TSA began implementing blended lanes at Butte’s Bert Mooney Airport in October. Just recently, and in time for the end of year holiday season, blended lanes became available at all of Montana’s commercial airports, including Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, Glendive, and Wolf Point.

By using traditional screening lanes to screen both TSA PreCheck and non-TSA PreCheck travelers, blended lanes increase the number of locations where TSA PreCheck enrollees can receive full benefits of the program, which include keeping liquids and laptops in bags, and negating the need to remove shoes, belts, and light outer jackets.

TSA initiated the blended lanes program because the TSA Modernization Act requires TSA to limit the use of TSA PreCheck lanes to individuals with known traveler numbers. As such, the likelihood of non-enrolled passengers receiving TSA PreCheck on their boarding pass has significantly decreased.

Travelers have already been seeing this initiative in action at several dozen small airports across the country, with additional airports planned.

Read more at TSA

This story was updated on December 21, 2019.

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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