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The shift in TSA's security efforts is expected to decrease criticism of the government organization with a quarter of all travelers speeding through security by the end of 2013.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will for the first time let travelers apply directly for expedited screening privileges to avoid lanes that require shoe removal and laptop checks.

TSA will allow people to apply directly for its PreCheck program online and at airports, the U.S. Travel Association said in a news release today. Fliers will complete a background check with an onsite interview and fingerprinting, the group said.

Agency administrator John Pistole is scheduled to speak at 1:30 p.m. New York time today at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado. TSA spokesman David Castelveter declined to comment ahead of the remarks.

U.S. travelers are currently only eligible for PreCheck, which allows fliers to speed through checkpoints while keeping their shoes and belts on and leaving laptops in their bags, if they’re nominated by airlines based on frequent-flier miles or sign up for U.S. Customs programs for international travelers.

TSA is expected to expand its direct-enrollment program to more than 300 locations nationwide, U.S. Travel said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Plungis in Washington at To contact the editor responsible for this story: Elizabeth Wasserman at

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Tags: precheck, tsa