MIAMI (CBSMiami) – TSA agents and American Airlines are teaming up to shrink long security lines at Miami International Airport.
They’re doing this by rolling out two new automated screening lanes.
The new innovation at MIA is designed to speed up the wait at security checkpoints.
This pilot program is being tested at twelve airports around the country.
How it works is simple. When people arrive at the TSA line, they put all their items into a bin which is larger than the ones used at most checkpoints.
“Before you had to wait on bins and it was manual not automatic so I found it much better,” said traveler Rhueshaun Frith. “When I’m ready I just push it out and off it goes.”
The bins then move on their own on a conveyor belt to be screened.
“As it gets up, it goes thru the X-ray machine where an X-ray operator now determines whether there’s a threat in that bag,” said TSA worker Daniel Ronan.
After being x-rayed, the bin is automatically diverted back to the traveler or to secondary screening if something inside needs to be checked.
The idea is that the automation will speed up the process of going through security checkpoints.
“It’s amazing how fast it works,” said MIA Director Emilio Gonzalez. “Everybody who travels, they know what to do, you put your things, off it goes, you don’t have to sit there and wait for it and scoot it up or wait for somebody else to bump up against you because everything is done automatic.”
If successful, this process could be rolled all over the airport.
“It’s a state of the art, cutting edge product that could enable our customers to go thru check points with out having to take their liquids and gels out of bags,” said Ralph Lopez with American Airlines.
It’s a pilot program so there are likely going to be kinks that need to be worked out.
Also at MIA, another pilot program is getting underway.
It’s a facial recognition program that is being used at customs.