The TSA Is About to Make Airport Security Less Terrible

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

It’s been a bad couple of days/months/lifetime for the Transport Security Administration, but there’s some good news. The much loathed government agency is going to try to make airport screening less terrible with fancy new automated security checkpoints.

The TSA will be partnering with American Airlines to test a new security screening procedure that aims to decrease wait times by up to 30 percent, according to a press release. Among the innovations for this new automated approach to airport security, the TSA lists bins that are 25 percent larger as well as a new system of RFID-tagging bins to track items through a security checkpoint. There will also be automated belts for managing bins, a method for easily separating flagged bags for further investigation, and pairing a photo of a bag’s exterior with the X-ray image of its contents.

A lot of these ideas are similar to a new system that Delta recently developed because TSA security was so catastrophically terrible. Here’s how Delta’s system works:

Image: Delta

These new lanes will be at some of the busiest hubs in the US, including Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Los Angeles, and Chicago’s O’Hare. The TSA will also be testing a pilot program for Phoenix later this year that will incorporate CT scanning, usually reserved only for checked luggage, at security checkpoints. This could mean that you can finally leave laptops, gels, and all the other problem liquids in your bag.

If this pilot test is successful, the TSA will roll out this new technology to every US airport. But exactly when that might happen is unfortunately a mystery.


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It’s news like this that reminds me why I got TSA PreCheck.