American Partners with the TSA to Improve Screening
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One small step for Travel-Kind is being made, as The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and American Airlines, have announced a partnership in which passengers will spend approximately thirty percent less time in screening. The intent is to expedite the screening process and shorten wait times for air travelers.
TSA and American Airlines anticipate deployment of these lanes to Chicago (O’Hare), Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Miami. Under the collaboration, automated security screening lanes and computed tomography (CT) scanners will be installed. If computed tomography sounds unfamiliar, perhaps “CT scan” might ring a bell to those involved in the medical field, or at least watch prime time medical shows, like “Grey’s Anatomy.”
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In laymen’s terms, a CT scan puts together a puzzle of X-rays taken from different angles. They provide more detail than normal X-rays, all the way down to blood vessels and soft tissues. For airport screening purposes, this would allow screeners to see not only what might be hiding under a traveler’s clothes, but potentially what they may be smuggling within their own bodies.
“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, the 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.”
“We are proud to be working collaboratively with the TSA to support next generation screening technology at five of our hubs this fall,” said American Airlines Chief Operating Officer Robert Isom. “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.”
In addition to the new scanning of passengers, their belongings will also be treated differently. New automated belts have the ability to separate a bag from the queue if a concern if found, which will avoid backing up the line. Larger bins will also be provided, so travelers don’t have to use as many. The new bins will use unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags while they go through the screening process, which is expected to improve accountability and avoid the “that’s not mine” claim.
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CT scanning has been in use at airports, but only for checked baggage screening. This is a pilot program, but if it’s successful, it could be rolled out at more airports throughout the country. When applied to carry-on luggage, it could allow passengers to leave those annoying items like liquids, gels and laptop computers in their bags, which would also reduce the time it takes to screen each passenger.
This is not the first time this year an airline has been proactive in improving the screening process for its passengers. In late May, Delta Air Lines spent a million dollars to install modernized screening lanes at its home hub airport in Atlanta in a pilot project.
More by Paul Thompson
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