If your favorite part of traveling is standing in a long security line followed by often uncomfortable human interaction, then we may have some bad news. Lifehacker reports that, according to a recent press release from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), select airports around the country will be upgraded with automated security screening technology at American Airlines gates. The modified lanes are expected to decrease time spent in the lines by 30 percent while also making the TSA more efficient at detecting threats.
The airports set to receive the new lanes are Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Miami, with Phoenix scheduled to receive computed tomography (CT) scanners by the end of the year. The automated scanners will feature conveyor belts that move carry-on luggage through an X-ray scanner and return used bins (which will be 25 percent larger than normal) back to their starting positions, a system that moves "potential threat" bags to a separate area so that others can continue along the path, and RFID tags and bag cameras to identify and keep track of items as they move through the line.
"Our foremost priority is the security of the traveling public," TSA Administrator Peter V. Neffenger said in the press release. "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."
This is not the first time that technology has been used to increase security while also speeding up the process. Over the past couple years, a company called Qylur has been testing security lockers at venues to decrease the amount of human workers needed at events, to make the security process safer, and to add more privacy for attendees. The Department of Homeland Security announced an extended partnership with Qylur, which included testing the lockers at an airport in Atlantic City.
The TSA says that its long-term goal is to install automated lanes at every airport in America, but the litmus test will certainly be the success (or failure) of the ones due to arrive later this year.