Northsiders hoping to apply for the TSA PreCheck Program likely won’t be able to apply in the capital city at least until early summer. Jackson city officials had hoped to open a TSA PreCheck office downtown on April 9.
However, that opening was postponed as a result of the pandemic, according to interim Deputy Chief City Clerk Angela Harris.
“Now, we’re looking at mid-May or early June,” she said. With fewer people expected to fly even after stay-at-home orders and travel bans are lifted, Harris said the city will have more time to train employees and work bugs out of the application process.
“This pandemic is allowing our office additional time to get things in order,” she said. “We are hopeful that citizens will gradually begin to travel again and utilize these services.”
The office will be located at 201 S. President St., in the old Jackson fire station next to City Hall and will be run by employees from the city clerk’s office.
Once opened, the office will take applications for the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck, TWIC and HTAP programs.
Currently, residents in Jackson have to drive more than 40 miles Vicksburg to submit those applications.
PreCheck affords travelers an expedited pre-flight screening check.
TWIC, meanwhile, is the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program. The credential is required for individuals needing to access secure areas of the nation’s maritime facilities and vessels, according to the TSA website.
HTAP is required for individuals with a commercial driver’s license to transport hazardous materials on the interstate highway system, the same website states.
City employees will take applications for those certifications and submit them to Idemia Identity and Security U.S.A., which will conduct background checks and process the applications.
The city council approved hiring Idemia in August 2019. The firm will be paid per application processed.
In March, the city entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Massachusetts-based company to help run the office until the employee vetting process is completed.
Idemia provides enrollment services at approximately 400 offices across the country, including offices at 40 airports, according to Richard Lerro, marketing specialist for TSA’s division of strategic communications and public affairs.