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In May, the world’s busiest airport, Georgia’s Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), made headlines when — in the midst of #IHateTheWait mania — it unveiled an automated TSA screening line intended to increase efficiency by up to 35% per lane. The joint collaboration between the TSA and Delta was deemed a success, with NPR reporting last month that security lanes in ATL were 30% more efficient.
It now seems the TSA and American Airlines are following suit and planning to outfit some of the country’s busiest airports with more state-of-the-art security lanes by the end of this year. On Tuesday, the TSA announced that it’ll be working with American Airlines to implement CT scanner-based screening technologies in five airports across the country, including a pilot program in Phoenix (PHX), by the end of this year, as well as American Airlines security lanes at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX) and Miami (MIA) this fall.
By making use of computed tomography imaging — the technology that airports use to screen travelers’ checked baggage — TSA personnel will have the ability to generate 3-D images of all bags that pass through their security lanes. Eventually, this could make it unnecessary for passengers to have to remove anything from their carry-on bags, including liquids and laptops. So it won’t matter if you get stuck behind that one guy who has never heard of the 3-1-1 rule.
If all goes well, the TSA estimates that automated lanes can both improve security and decrease the amount of time you’ll spend waiting in line by about 30%.
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