The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) needs your help, and they’re willing to pay for it.
On July 15, the TSA posted a plea on Innocentive, a website designed to help creative problem-solvers come together to fix a variety of commercial and humanitarian issues, from providing clean drinking water to designing a better fluoride toothpaste. And what does the TSA need help with? Security wait times. (Surprise!)
The TSA is urging solvers to help them design more efficient security queues, with a project called Next Generation Queue Design and Model.
With the advent of the popular TSA PreCheck program and evolving regulations regarding what can and cannot be carried onto a plane, security procedures and queue lengths have never been longer or more confusing.
Experts say that funneling all passengers through checkpoints on a first-come-first-served basis no longer makes sense. (Agreeing to that is anyone who has ever waited for two hours in the regular security line, while the last thing to go through the first-class queue was a tumbleweed.)
Now the TSA needs fresh ideas on how to get everyone through its “dynamic security screening environment” as efficiently as possible. Specifically, the administration wants smart lane layouts for standard flyers, TSA PreCheck members, premium passengers, airline employees, and passengers with disabilities.
Entrants need to submit a simulation model that exhibits the lane layouts and screening procedures. They will also need to take into account airport layouts, peak and non-peak hours, flight schedules, and TSA staffing schedules, according to the contest details.
Anyone is welcome to enter. Simply sign up on Innocentive and start brainstorming. If the TSA likes your idea best, you could walk away with at least $5,000 and up to $15,000 in cash. The deadline is August 15.
Got any good ideas, readers?
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