TSA Eyes Passenger Self-Screening at Airports

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is looking to develop a passenger self-screening system that’s being compared to the self-checkout kiosks common at many grocery stores and ATM machines, according to Nextgov.

Last month, TSA and the Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate revealed plans to solicit a third party to develop the enhanced system.

“A successful solution would lead to a passenger-friendly, intuitive screening process while improving security, accelerating passenger throughput, reducing pat-down rates and reducing the overall level of contact a passenger experiences with other passengers and transportation security officers (TSO),” officials wrote.

The new system would be required to detect “weapons and organic threat items hidden on passengers without the same level of TSO engagement normally present in the screening process.”

The self-screening system would initially be introduced for passengers enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program, which already allows for expedited screening.

The effort is part of a broader program known as Apex Screening at Speed that seeks to “increase aviation security effectiveness from curb to gate while dramatically reducing wait times and improving the passenger experience.”

TSA plans to award multiple standalone contracts in late fiscal 2020 or early fiscal 2021.

The agency recently implemented changes to the security screening process to prevent cross-contamination amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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