If you’re the kind of person who likes to imagine a Jetsons-esque future where everything is made easier at the press of a button, you’re not alone. The Transportation Security Administration says it’s been dreaming up new ways to finally make airport security screening less annoying — but not for seven to 10 more years.
The TSA’s high-tech plans would potentially mean passengers could just waltz, stroll or amble through a security checkpoint without ever removing an item of clothing or even showing an ID, while being scanned electronically for weapons and contraband.
“We see it as a walk-through process,” said Perry Flint of the International Air Transport Association, an airline group, told the New York Post of the TSA’s plans.
Video cameras assessing passengers’ mannerisms will replace metal detectors to single out threats, and screeners will identify passengers through biometric finger scans or eye scans. Weapons will be rooted out by remote machines instead of by metal detectors. And yes, your laptop will finally be able to stay in its bag.
Change is already afoot in the New York City area, with new screening technology plans underway at LaGuardia Airport’s new Central Terminal and a new Terminal A at Newark Airport.
A recent report showed dissatisfaction with the TSA, and the government urged the agency to clean up its act and stop frisking famous people who are probably not terrorists, among other things.
New programs like Pre-Check, which pre-screens passengers and allows them to leave shoes and belts on, and keep liquids and laptops in their bags, are just some of the ways the TSA is trying to change its process.
The great hope of the TSA, however, is new technology.
“These machines are getting smaller and faster, and from a performance standpoint, they are getting better and better and better,” said TSA Associate Administrator Douglas Hofsass. “We are looking for equipment that allows us to have the most effective security in the most efficient way.”
Airlines, TSA seeking advanced security screening devices [New York Post]