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TSA Pre-check to come to Watertown International

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Keep your shoes on.

Some passengers traveling out of the Watertown International Airport soon may be able to pass through security without removing their shoes, lightweight jackets or belts.

The Transportation Security Administration is preparing to implement its Pre-check program at the airport, according to Airport Manager Grant W. Sussey.

The program allows expedited screening for pre-cleared passengers.

TSA confirmed the move Wednesday evening.

“...We are working toward implementing expedited screening at Watertown in the near future,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said in an email. “Passengers with the TSA Pre-check logo on their boarding passes will be permitted to keep on their shoes, lightweight jackets and belts and will be able to keep their (toiletries) bags and laptops in their carry-on bags.”

There will not be a dedicated lane for TSA Pre-check at the airport, as is the case with some larger facilities, Ms. Farbstein said.

The move is particularly exciting for the airport, which is owned and operated by Jefferson County, because Pre-check screening will be offered to military members at all participating airports beginning Friday.

Jefferson County contains Fort Drum, a U.S. Army installation.

Members of the military are eligible for the expedited screening when they use the Department of Defense identification number when making flight reservations.

There is no word yet as to when the Pre-check program will go into effect at the airport.

The airport now offers 13 flights a week: two per day on weekdays, one on Saturday mornings and two on Sundays.

The number of people flying into and out of the airport is on track to increase 18 percent this year over last year, according to figures released in November.

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