TSA Tests Self-Service Screening Prototype at Las Vegas Airport


TSA Tests Self-Service Screening Prototype at Las Vegas Airport

Airport security could undergo a significant transformation with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) testing a self-service screening prototype at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas next year.

The TSA is collaborating with automation company Vanderlande to implement the self-service lane, which is expected to be operational for TSA PreCheck travelers by March. The prototype includes a video monitor with multi-step instructions and a screening portal with automated entry and exit doors, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

John Fortune, the Science and Technology Directorate’s Screening at Speed program manager, expressed excitement about the partnership, stating, “We’re privileged to partner with TSA to reimagine airport security by building new groundbreaking technology and solutions while being passenger-focused and forward-leaning. Self-service screening is a big step toward creating novel, innovative solutions to build the airport of the future.”

Passengers screened using the Vanderlande prototype will experience an automatic exit door opening, allowing them to collect their belongings. If a passenger encounters an issue during screening, such as having items in their pocket, the entry door will reopen for them to address the concern and undergo re-screening.

The self-service screening prototype was initially installed at the TSA Transportation Systems Integration Facility at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in March before being tested in Las Vegas. If successful, the technology may be deployed to more airports in the future, although widespread implementation may take years, according to the TSA.

In addition to the Vanderlande prototype, the DHS is exploring a Micro-X pod-based design, expected to undergo testing in 2025. This technology allows for the installation of multiple pods in a single lane to simultaneously screen multiple passengers.

The TSA has been introducing various technologies to enhance security and streamline processes, including Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) and full-size Computed Tomography (CT) x-ray systems, providing 3D images of carry-on items to detect weapons, explosives, and prohibited items more effectively.

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