After staff shortages, unbelievable wait times, and missed flights galore, the Transportation Security Administration is finally admitting that indeed, it has a problem. And now, in a joint initiative with American Airlines, the TSA is planning to install a series of new screening technologies like automated security screening lanes and computed tomography (CT) scanners at various airports across the country. This, both the airline and the TSA hope, will improve what has become a truly insufferable travel experience — at least, on the security front.
By incorporating technology and screening station modifications meant to “enhance security effectiveness while decreasing the time travelers spend in security screening by approximately 30 percent,” TSA and American Airlines hope that these new automatic stations will reduce the current headache that is making it through checkpoints in airports.
New features include automated belts that pull bags into X-ray machines and automatically return the bins after screening; bins that are 25 percent larger than those in regular screening lanes; and cameras that take photos of the outside of the bag, which are in turn linked to X-ray images of the bag’s contents. Currently, the joint venture is set to roll out later this fall in Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Miami.
CT technology will also be implemented at a Phoenix TSA screening checkpoint.
“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 traveler experience while maintaining effective security.”
American Airlines COO Robert Isom echoed these sentiments, noting, “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 partnership in implementing these new innovative technologies.”
Here’s hoping the partnership provides travelers with some relief.