The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said Tuesday that it plans to install new screening technology, including automated security screening lanes and computed tomography (CT) scanners, at select American Airlines hubs nationwide this fall.
TSA said it will be working in conjunction with American Airlines, and also plans to deploy computed tomography (CT) technology at a Phoenix TSA screening checkpoint, as a pilot program set to begin by the end of 2016.
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 travelers spend in security screening by approximately 30 percent, TSA said.
TSA and American Airlines anticipate deployment of these lanes to Chicago (O’Hare), Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Miami.
CT technology, currently only used at U.S. airports to screen checked bags, is 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. This results in a quicker throughput and less bin use, said TSA.
The use of CT technology at airport checkpoints would eliminate the need for screeners to examine X-ray images of every bag. It could also let travelers leave liquids and laptops in their carry-on bags.
If the pilot testing is successful, TSA may deploy CT technology to other checkpoints nationwide.
In collaboration with vendors, airlines, airports, and across the counter-terrorism community, TSA will also roll out additional automated checkpoint lanes to improve the screening process as well as help minimize wait times.
“Our foremost priority is the security of the traveling public,” said TSA Administrator Peter 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.”