The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is launching a trial for a self-service screening option at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas next month.
This initiative aims to accelerate the security process at U.S. airports. It's part of the TSA's plan to test three new technologies to enhance airport security.
The trial features technology from Vanderlande Industries, a Georgia-based logistics company.
Key Features of the Self-Service System:
The system will segregate PreCheck passengers into a checkpoint lane equipped with four integrated stations.
Each station includes a video monitor with instructions and a help button linked to a TSA officer for additional assistance.
Passengers must pass each station's requirements before proceeding to the next.
If a passenger encounters an issue during initial screening (e.g., items left in pockets), the system allows them to rectify it before re-screening.
Upon successfully clearing all requirements, an automatic exit door opens, allowing travelers to retrieve their belongings and head to their departure gates.
Purpose and Evaluation:
The prototype was previously installed and evaluated at the TSA Transportation Systems Integration Facility (TSIF) in Washington, D.C.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske intends to highlight the benefits to PreCheck travelers. The aim is to showcase the added value to passengers who have pre-cleared for travel.
Additional Technologies Being Tested:
Micro-X of Federal Way and Voxel Radar are the other two companies awarded contracts by the DHS's Science and Technology Directorate.
Micro-X's technology includes a pod-based system for individual passenger screening, expected to be showcased at CES in Las Vegas in 2024.
Voxel Radar developed a real-time screening technology for passengers, potentially reducing the need for static checkpoints.
Ultimate Goals and Benefits:
The TSA's primary objective is to expedite airport security while enabling TSA officers to focus attention elsewhere.
These advancements could potentially reduce the necessity for a large number of TSA officers, addressing staffing shortages reported in the post-pandemic travel resurgence.
Similar efforts have been seen internationally, such as London City Airport dropping the liquid carry-on rule and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) introducing a Verified Traveller Program akin to TSA PreCheck.