TSA’s Plans Mean Maybe The Security Screening Process Won’t Be So Darn Annoying

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]


Edit Your Comment

  1. shepd says:

    Irradiate me for a good time? No thanks…

  2. Jauryn says:

    I’m still miffed that celebrities are going to be able to cruise through without any issues. Just because they have a familiar face should not excuse them from feeling as uncomfortable as the rest of us. They could be blackmailed into doing illegal crap too I’m sure, and I certainly don’t support anything that makes some people too special to be treated like a normal member of the population. If most of us are going to be inconvenienced, then they should be too.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Yay Ben Popkin for providing the photo!

  4. mauispiderweb says:

    So, like pre 9/11, when you didn’t even need to show a photo ID to get your boarding pass?

    • Free Legal Advice! says:

      Way back in 1998, they let me get on a plane with an expired Busch Gardens season pass.

    • The Cosmic Avenger says:

      Yes, but now they will irradiate you as you walk through security.

      Personally, I’d prefer the groping.

  5. dush says:

    So behavioral assessment and unobtrusive scanning. I guess I’ll be flying again in 7-10 years then.
    The current random searches and seizures are complete untenable.

  6. mikedt says:

    This will happen around the time that we all have flying cars.

  7. dolemite says:

    Sounds like they are replacing metal detectors. I didn’t really have a problem with them. I do have a problem with the radiation based scanners. Tests are pretty inconclusive as to how bad they are for you.

  8. Clippy says:

    I wonder why people in technology fields ever bother planning more than 5 years out. Can you imagine, 10 years ago, trying to even plan for the smart phones that exist now? Even something as simple as a standardized power supply. Yeah, good luck planning electronic architecture now for something that won’t even be invented yet. This is exactly why DOD contracts are retarded; 20+year contracts for technology that will be made obsolete before the plans even hit the house floor to be voted on

  9. Upthewazzu says:

    Maybe I’m just more rational than most, but I don’t find the TSA all that intrusive.

    • MMD says:

      So it’s irrational to object to TSA practices?

      Sorry, you’re going to have to actually make an argument here if you want to convince anyone…

  10. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    Maybe they can play ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ while going through the backscatter machines. People will start dancing through them.

    • gman863 says:

      I was thinking more along the lines of “Daisy Dukes” or “Whoomp, There It Is”.

      • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

        I just thought the classic Egyptian pose will work best as you go through those machines.

        Also, “Party Rock” will be most awesome as you go through the standard metal detectors. ** every day we’re shufflin’ **

        If you want an all-purpose TSA music, Daft Punk’s “Around the World” will work whether you go through backscatter or metal detector — or heck, even pat-downs! :D

        Then you can finish off a-la-Christopher Walken with Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” as you go through the airport escalators.

        See? Even airports can be fun!

        • gman863 says:

          “Also, “Party Rock” will be most awesome as you go through the standard metal detectors. ** every day we’re shufflin’ **”

          Thumbs up. Maybe we can get the TSA agents to dress up as the Kia Hampsters.

  11. jimbobjoe says:

    “and screeners will identify passengers through biometric finger scans or eye scans.”

    Am I the only one who got concerned when I saw that? How are they thinking of getting people to enroll themselves biometrically?

    • do-it-myself says:

      By that time in the future terrorists may juse use eye implants. Increase the technology, increase the push back. I’ll take a gentle groping over radiation, thanks.