Government Initiates New Airline Rules

The government is about to test a new risk-detection system for air travelers. It would assign a threat level to everyone who buys an airline ticket.

Delta Air Lines will try it out at three undisclosed airports beginning next month. The system -- ordered by Congress after the terrorist attacks -- is called Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System or CAPPS-Two. Advocates say it will weed out dangerous people. Critics say it will lead to unconstitutional invasions of privacy and could lead to innocent people being branded security risks.

The system will check such things as credit reports, bank account activity and compare passenger names with those on government watch lists. It will collect data and rate each passenger's risk potential according to a three-color system: green, yellow, red. When travelers check in, their names will be punched into the system and their boarding passes encrypted with the ranking. Transportation Security Administration screeners will check the passes at checkpoints. Officials say the majority of passengers will be rated green and will NOT be subjected to anything more than normal checks, while yellow will get extra screening and red won't fly. Transportation officials say a comprehensive system could be in place by the end of the year.