TSA to elderly passengers: Let’s try keeping your shoes on

Dylan Stableford

One cause of delays at airports could soon be eased: The Transportation Security Administration announced on Wednesday that it will begin testing a program next week that would allow passengers 75 and older to keep their shoes and light jackets on as they pass through security.

The TSA will begin testing the program at Chicago's O'Hare, Denver International, Orlando International and Portland (Ore.) International airports on Monday. Older passengers may still be subject to normal screening procedures if the full-body scanners detect any anomalies, the TSA said.

Last year, the TSA instituted a similar program to reduce the time spent getting children 12 and under through security.

The new programwhich the TSA hopes reduces the number of pat-downs conducted on the elderlyis part of a broader initiative to target riskier passengers and speed up check-ins.

"These changes will allow officers to better focus their efforts on passengers who may be more likely to pose a risk to transportation, while expediting the screening process," Joseph Terrell, TSA's security director in Orlando, told USA Today.

TSA officers "will make a visual assessment to determine which passengers are 75 or older and inform them of changes to the screening procedures."

If the program proves successful, the TSA said it would consider expanding it.

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