A new self-service screening option will be available to certain travelers at the Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas. This marks the first phase of the ‘Screening at Speed’ program launched last month by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to enhance the efficiency of security checks across the United States.
“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.
The setup will appear similar to a supermarket checkout, but with travelers scanning their ID and luggage in place of fruit and vegetables.
Each checkpoint lane will have four stations for luggage examination and a video monitor with on-screen step-by-step instructions for passengers to follow.
There will be automatic entry and exit doors to scan travelers through them and an adjacent machine that scans any luggage and personal items, such as keys, cell phones, and jewelry.
When it’s a traveler’s turn to be screened, they will step into the portal, and the entry doors will automatically shut behind them. A video screen will instruct passengers on how to stand during the scanning process and when to raise their arms overhead in a manner akin to body scanners currently in use in security lines.
If a passenger does not pass the security scan – because of an item forgotten in their pocket, for example – the video screen will highlight the area where the item ought to be removed. The entry doors will re-open, and passengers will be able to remove the item, place it in the adjacent machine for scanning, and step back into the portal.
Once a passenger is approved, they’ll be able to gather their items and continue on their journey. For anyone requiring assistance, there will be a help button that notifies a staff member to offer in-person help.
“A lot of these technologies allow the passenger to be more in control of their own journey through the checkpoint and be more self-sufficient without necessarily having to interact with an officer,” said T.J. Schulz, president of the Airport Consultants Council.
“This continues a trend of allowing the passenger to be self-reliant through the checkpoint and is very much in alignment with the whole airline travel passenger experience.”
The design that will feature at Las Vegas International (LAS) is a concept created by Vanderlande, a Dutch logistics company. Vanderlande recently rolled out luggage scanners, which eliminated the need for passengers to remove electronics or liquids from their bags to get through security.
“We are very excited to see how far these capabilities have come in a relatively short amount of time,” said Christina Peach, branch manager for the TSA’s Innovation Task Force.
“The airport security experience that we’ve all come to know could soon look and feel a lot different—in a very good way.”