IT & Networks

TSA wants the self-checkout of security screenings

The process is familiar and frustrating: take off your shoes, your belt and any jewelry, then remove the laptop, phone and keys, all while a line of people waits for you, increasingly anxious they might not make their flight.

The Transportation Security Administration wants to ease the pressure of this tedious process by exploring the idea of a self-screening solution for passengers.

The TSA’s Innovation Task Force is partnering with the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate’s Apex Screening at Speed program to look at the potential of such a program. According to a request for information posted on FedBizOps Nov. 5, the self-screening product would first be used in the TSA Pre-check program.

“Just like self-checkout at grocery stores, self-tagging checked baggage, or ATM machines, many patrons prefer an experience that they can complete all by themselves, at their own pace," the TSA wrote. "Personal screening stations would increase the overall passenger screening throughput.”

To ensure passenger safety, the TSA wants solutions that can detect weapons and other threats that may be hidden on people. Ultimately, the solution needs to be able to detect threats even as the passenger is moving. The solution will not eliminate the need for TSA officers, however; they will still needed in case the screening system cannot resolve a problem on a passenger.

“The objective would be to create a passenger friendly, intuitive screening process while improving security, accelerating passenger throughput, and reducing pat-down rates,” the RFI reads.

The TSA has not identified any specific use cases or concepts of operations yet. Responses are due Dec. 4.

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