Travel /

TSA Launches 'Self-Screening' Security Program For Airline Passengers

New technology aims to reduce pat-downs and secondary screenings

TSA Launches 'Self-Screening' Security Program For Airline Passengers

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is launching a prototype self-screening system that will allow some passengers to expedite their security screenings prior to boarding a flight.

TSA PreCheck passengers will be the first travelers to have the option to use the new system starting mid-March at the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, the only airport currently using the system.

Passengers will be able to use a video monitor that provides instructions on the screening, so they can move along at their own pace. The goal is to provide a near self-sufficient screening process to reduce instances where pat-downs or secondary screening procedures are necessary.

Travelers will place their bags onto a conveyor belt that runs through an imaging device, similar to current procedures, then will walk into a glass booth to be scanned by “millimeter wave technology” that is already used in U.S. airports.

After passengers complete the screening process, automated exit doors open and passengers can grab their bags and head to their flights.

“We are constantly looking at innovative ways to enhance the passenger experience, while also improving security,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement about the new program. “This self-service prototype allows our trusted travelers to complete the screening process at their own pace. Testing at the Innovation Checkpoint in Las Vegas gives us an opportunity to collect valuable user data and insights, and explore opportunities to apply parts of the prototype to other airport security checkpoints. I am grateful for our partners in S&T and LAS airport, who were critical in bringing this vision to reality.” 

Keith Jeffries, a former TSA director at Los Angeles International Airport and now vice president of K2 Security Screening Group, a company that installs screening systems at shipping ports including airports, told the Associated Press (AP) that the new system is comparable to self-checkout lanes introduced in supermarkets in the 1980s.

“It’s going to take time to educate the public,” he said of the TSA screening lanes. “You’re going to have a new generation of travelers that just wants to get through with the least amount of hassle and delay. I think eventually we’ll see more and more of them.”

*For corrections please email [email protected]*