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High-tech security line program launches at Phoenix Sky Harbor

(CLEAR Photo)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport added an option to get through security lines faster, for a price, unveiling a high-tech program Wednesday in Terminal Four.

CLEAR’s biometrics-based scanners began operating at all four checkpoints in the terminal, the busiest at the airport.

“We’re really excited to be here,” Howard Kass, a senior vice president for CLEAR, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Travelers stand in a dedicated line of kiosks at the Transportation Security Administration area. Once there, identity is verified by their fingerprints or an eye scan, not paper ID.

They won’t, however, be able to skip security.

Joining the program costs $179 a year. Children 18 and younger can go through for free if they’re with a member.

Sky Harbor became the 25th U.S. airport to sign up for the system. The system will eventually to be available in all Phoenix terminals.

Others major airports with the express lanes included McCarran-Las Vegas, Los Angeles International, New York’s La Guardia and JFK international airports, San Francisco International and Reagan National in Washington, D.C.

The program has been operating for eight years.

TSA’s expedited, trusted traveler screening program, which began in 2013, costs $85 for a five-year membership in PreCheck and $100 for five years in Global Entry.

Kass said the programs were complementary to one another.

“The majority of our members have both. PreCheck is great in that you can leave your laptop in your backpack and keep your shoes on, keep your jacket on.

“What we provide is a service that gives you predictability at the airport. You know when you’re going through a CLEAR line you’re not going to be there very long — thirty seconds, at most.”

Last year, nearly 44 million fliers came through Sky Harbor.

The busiest month historically has been March, when spring training is in play and the weather is often picture-perfect.

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