TSA to test new checkpoint technologies

The Transportation Security Administration said it will test new security checkpoint scanning technologies at certain American Airlines hubs across the country.

Under a joint initiative with the airline, TSA will install new screening technology—including automated security screening lanes and computed tomography (CT) scanners—at select American Airlines hubs starting this fall.

According to TSA, the automated screening lanes, which the agency said already are in use at one U.S. airport, include technology and screening station modifications that enhance security effectiveness, and cut travelers’ time in security screening by about 30 percent.

TSA and the airline expect to deploy the automated lanes at hubs in Chicago (O’Hare), Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Miami; and implement CT technology at a Phoenix TSA screening checkpoint in a pilot program slated to launch by the end of this year.

To speed passengers through checkpoints, the new lanes will automate many functions that currently are done manually by TSA officers. The lanes will have automated belts that draw bags into the X-ray machines and return bins—which will be 25 percent larger and equipped with RFID tags—back to the start of the line after screening. The system also will move bags with potential threats to a separate area so other bins can proceed. And cameras will captures photos of the outside of bags and link them to X-ray images.

TSA said that the CT technology, currently only used at U.S. airports to screen checked bags, may make it possible for passengers to leave liquids, gels, aerosols and laptops in their carry-on bags at all times.

“To ensure that we remain up-to-date in an evolving threat environment, TSA continues to test and deploy state-of-the-art technologies,” said TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger. “This collaboration with American Airlines is an important step in enhancing the traveler experience while maintaining effective security.”

Reader comments

Tue, Jul 12, 2016

Fifteen years after 9/11 and with thousands of moveable stainless steel tables have been arranged and rearranged, TSA is now going to actually invest in technology. Astounding that it took so long to come to the realization that a problem existed. Apple rolls out new products each year and we've relied on stainless steel tables. TSA is a bunch of incompetents.

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