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By Shara ParkSALT LAKE CITY -- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is about to require passengers to use their full names to get on an airplane. It's part of an ever-changing security policy.
The new policy is the first noticeable step in implementing the Secure Flight program, which shifts terrorist watch list matching responsibilities from airlines to TSA.
Here's how it will work: Starting Friday, when passengers make an airline reservation, they will be required to provide their full name as it appears on their identification.
Once the name is entered, TSA will screen it against a terrorist watch list.
TSA spokesman Dwayne Baird said, "The 9/11 Commission determined that if there was one location, one agency that would determine that list, then the airlines could feed us the information. We would be able to check the passenger against that list and determine whether an aviation passenger is a flight risk."
By implementing the first phase of this watch-list-matching process, TSA says the Secure Flight program will make it safer and easier for millions of Americans to travel.
The second phase of the program begins Aug. 15. Passengers will be required to enter not only their full name when booking a ticket, but also their date of birth and gender.
If you have already booked a ticket and don't have your middle name or initial, or your full name on your boarding pass, it's not a problem. TSA says it will only take a few minutes to update the information.