TSA to test out new self-service screening process

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Traveling through security at a southwest airport may soon be as easy as checking out your own groceries or ordering your own food from a restaurant. 

A self-service screening option is coming to Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport next month, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) news release. 

PreCheck passengers will be the first to use the new technology that allows them to “complete the screening process with minimal to no assistance” from transportation security officers (TSOs).

“Travelers will use passenger and carry-on screening systems at individual consoles or screening lanes themselves, reducing the number of pat-downs and bag inspections TSOs need to perform and freeing their time to be reallocated to the busier aspects of screening operations,” Dr. John Fortune, Screening at Speed program manager, said.

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Feedback from mock passengers and TSOs has been “incredibly positive,” he added.

The technology is a result of a joint research and development effort by TSA’s Innovation Task Force and the Screening at Speed team at DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate. It is aimed at increasing security effectiveness, reducing checkpoint wait times and keeping travelers and TSOs safer by minimizing person-to-person contact. 

TSA and Screening at Speed are working with four companies who were awarded contracts in 2021: Micro-X, Vanderlande Industries, and Voxel Radar.

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Self-service TSA screening prototype

TSA precheck sign

TSOs at Harry Reid International Airport have already been trained on how to operate the self-service screening process travelers will be able to use in January, according to the DHS release.  

     

The system will also be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January. 

Las Vegas is not the first U.S. city to test the technology. A self-service prototype was installed at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., in March and has been screening volunteer passengers and their belongings. 

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