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Experts Criticize Security Checkpoint Bypass For Pilots

O'Hare Security Line

A security line at O’Hare International Airport on Nov. 25, 2009. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Some experts are criticizing the newly-adopted express lane checkpoint for pilots at O’Hare International Airport.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Keith Johnson reports, the program could be expanded to all U.S. airlines.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Keith Johnson reports

The Transportation Security Administration says the Known Crewmember Program in Terminals 1, 2 and 3 allows pilots to pass through security checkpoints without being scanned for explosive and other prohibited items.

The TSA says it verifies the identification of pilots and their employment status using photos and airline data.

But some security efforts tell the Chicago Tribune’s John Hilkevitch they have major concerns, mainly that the news measures do not include a biometric match such as a scan of the fingerprints or eyes. They fear this may be a loophole that could be exploited by terrorists posing as pilots.

The Known Crewmember Program is now under testing at O’Hare.