Norfolk International Airport to get PreCheck lines

Jordan Crawford | 9/25/2013, 3:49 p.m.
PreCheck lines will soon be added to Norfolk International Airport by the end of this year.
PreCheck will be coming to Norfolk's airport by the end of the year.

In Norfolk, the introduction of the expedited screening lines will coincide with the tripling of screening space at Concourse B, said Wayne Shank, executive director of the airport. A similar expansion is planned for Concourse A. Lines at the checkpoints in Norfolk are typically not as long as those in larger airports.

“I love it here,” said Cheryl Copeland in Newport News, whose job requires her to frequently fly to Atlanta. “There are always lines galore in Atlanta. It’s like I can see people’s moods change once they step into that airport. They go from generally happy and content with life to fed all the way up.”

The TSA said it has screened about 15 million passengers through PreCheck over the past two years. That equates to only about 1 percent of the traffic, based on the TSA’s reported average of screening 1.8 million people per day.

TSA Administrator John Pistole has stated a goal of getting 25 percent of passengers moving through expedited screening lines by the end of 2013. The more people go through PreCheck lines, the faster other lines will move as well, Farbstein said.

The $85 fee reflects the cost of the background check, she said. “There’s no profit involved,” she said. “Zero.”

There is a catch, however. The TSA will not guarantee that PreCheck participants will be cleared to use the expedited security line every time they fly. Sometimes, they will be forced to go through the regular screening process.

“Because we always have to have a random factor,” Farbstein said. “It helps prevent people from trying to game the system in any way.”

The TSA also warns that the hours that PreCheck lanes are running at an airport are subject to change.