TSA Precheck signups available on Fort Myers Beach

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. A federal agency is bringing its effort to make air travel easier to the beach.

A Transportation Security Administration vehicle will be parked through Thursday at Santini Marina Plaza on 7205 Estero Blvd. Inside, agents will step registrants through the sign-up process for TSA Precheck, an expedited screening program that lets approved travelers get through airport security lines faster.

TSA Precheck promises to move enrollees through airport security in five minutes at the 180 airports around the country where the program is in place. Southwest Florida International Airport is one of them.

The 4.5 million who’ve signed up don’t have to take off their shoes or their belts and get to keep their laptops in their cases as they go through security. The same perks are available to those who sign up on the beach this week.

The setup is earning rave reviews. Anne Marie Pecoa had been trying to enroll in the program for weeks while she went in and out of Chicago. But her appointment on Fort Myers Beach took only about five minutes.

“I spent my career in human resources, and I couldn’t have organized it better,” Pecoa said.

Signup took 10 minutes for Bobbi Sammons, who also enrolled Monday. But the process grinds to a halt for anyone who doesn’t come prepared. Applicants will need to bring $85, a passport or a birth certificate and a photo ID.

Walk-ins are welcome, but the TSA recommends applying and scheduling an appointment first on its website.

The TSA began the mobile enrollment effort, which it outsources through a contractor, to kick-start lagging enrollment figures. It’s worked so far, at least on the beach, where half the available appointment slots were already filled by Monday afternoon.

About 80 applicants can be processed each day. Enrollment takes place from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday.

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