TSA and American Airlines to deploy next generation screening technology
11 July 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, International Airport Review
Through a joint initiative, the TSA and American Airlines will be installing and testing new screening technology, including automated security screening lanes and computed tomography (CT) scanners at selected American Airlines hubs in autumn 2016.
Automated screening lanes reduce passenger wait times by 30 percent
The automated screening lanes – already in use at one U.S. airport – incorporate technology and screening station modifications that enhance security effectiveness while decreasing the time travellers spend in security screening by approximately 30 percent. TSA and American Airlines believe this technology will be introduced at Chicago (O’Hare), Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Miami.
American Airlines and TSA also plan to deploy CT technology at a Phoenix TSA screening checkpoint through a pilot programme set to begin by the end of 2016.
“This collaboration with American Airlines is an important step in enhancing the traveller experience while maintaining effective security”
“Our foremost priority is the security of the traveling public,” said TSA Administrator Peter V. Neffenger. “To ensure that we remain up-to-date in an evolving threat environment, TSA continues to test and deploy state-of-the-art technologies. This collaboration with American Airlines is an important step in enhancing the traveller experience while maintaining effective security.”
“We are proud to be working collaboratively with the TSA to support next generation screening technology at five of our hubs this fall,” said American Airlines Chief Operating Officer Robert Isom. “These state-of-the-art lanes, along with new detection technology that will be tested in Phoenix, will enhance security effectiveness and efficiency, while improving the customer experience. On behalf of our team members who are working to take care of customers every day, we appreciate the TSA’s collaboration in implementing these new innovative technologies.”
According to the TSA, the advanced equipment in the automated lanes offers a number of unique features designed to improve the screening of travellers by automating many of the functions currently conducted manually, allowing passengers to move more swiftly through the checkpoint.
- Automated belts that draw bags into the X-ray machines, returning the bins back to queue after completion of the screening.
- Bags with a potential threat can be directed to a separate area to allow bins behind it to continue through the system uninterrupted.
- Property bins that are 25 percent larger than the bins in regular screening lanes.
- Unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that are attached to each bin to allow for additional accountability of items as they transit throughout the system.
- Cameras that capture photos of the outside of the bag, which is linked to the X-ray image of the bag’s contents.
3D CT screening technology could allow passengers to leave liquids and laptops in carry-on bags
CT technology is currently only used at U.S. airports to screen checked bags. However, it expected to significantly improve the throughput when added to the screening process in Phoenix. 3D CT technology could make it possible to allow passengers to leave liquids, gels and aerosols, as well as laptops, in their carry-on bags at all times. If the pilot testing is successful, TSA may deploy CT technology to other checkpoints nationwide.