British Airways has signed up to a US Transport Security Administration pre-check scheme to enable passengers to cut time in security queues at American airports.

Travellers who are accepted under the US government scheme can use fast track security lanes, and do not need to remove shoes, light jackets or belts.

Laptops and compliant liquids can also remain in hand luggage, making the trip through security at the airport easier.

If a lane is not available for a flight, customers with a TSA pre-check boarding pass may receive expedited screening in a standard lane.

Research by TSA in March found 93% of passengers using the scheme waited less than five minutes.

However, UK citizens must sign up for pre-approval to become global entry members, involving a ten-minute interview, background checks and fingerprint scan. It costs $85 for five years.

TSA is part of the US Department of Homeland Security.

The move comes as BA starts London to Nashville flights this week, giving the airline 26 US destinations served by direct flights.

JFK Terminal 7, home to BA in New York, will launch its TSA pre-check lane this summer, when construction in the security area is complete.

With code-share partners and connections, eligible passengers will ultimately be able to make use of TSA pre-check lanes at 200 US airports.

BA North America operations vice president Doug Caines said: “We’re really pleased that our customers can now benefit from the expedited services of TSA pre-check.

“Having the ability to fast track through security will give time back to our customers so they can relax and enjoy more time in our lounges or more time to shop and dine in the airport.”