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Person placing phone in bin for TSA airport security screening
Monkey Business | Adobe Stock

TSA to Test Self-Service Screening Lanes

Self-checkout has become a staple at the grocery store, and now the same concept is about to come to airport security. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to launch a trial of an automated self-service security program called Screening at Speed.

The new process will allow travelers to complete the screening process with “minimal to no assistance” from TSA officers. 

“Like self-ordering kiosks at fast food and sit-down restaurants, self-service screening allows passengers in the Trusted Traveler Program to complete the security screening process on their own,” said Screening at Speed Program Manager Dr. John Fortune. “Travelers will use passenger and carry-on screening systems at individual consoles or screening lanes themselves, reducing the number of pat-downs and bag inspection.”

Digital rendering of future self-service kiosks at airport security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Travelers will be directed to screening stations where a video monitor will walk them through step-by-step instructions. Passengers will place their belongings on a conveyor belt for inspection and enter a screening portal with automated entry and exit doors. If a passenger requires additional screening, they will be directed back through the entry door. If they are cleared, the automatic exit door will open, and they can collect their belongings and head to their flight without interacting with an officer.

The video monitors will feature a help button to connect passengers to a live officer if they need help. 

A spokesperson for the TSA told SmarterTravel that the pilot is scheduled to begin “early next year” at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas and that “additional airports will be added to the pilot” at a later date. The Screening at Speed lanes will initially only be available for TSA PreCheck passengers. 

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