US to get fast lanes at 20 airports

Private companies maybe allowed to sell security passes for frequent fliers at as many as 20 U.S. airports by the beginning of 2007, the government told the Associated Press. The passes would be part of the Registered Traveler program, which would let airline passengers go through a separate airport security lane if they pay a fee, pass a government background check and submit 10 fingerprints.

The US Transportation Security Administration in October ended a limited test of the program at five airports - in Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Washington.

But a private company was allowed to continue testing Registered Traveler in Orlando, Florida.

The TSA wants private contractors to run the program, but said travelers must be able to use the pass at every airport that offers it.