The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to enhance their security offerings while still giving PreCheck users their money’s worth. Part of the TSA’s security upgrades includes experimenting with additional segmentation of passengers by risk.
Larger Checkpoint Areas
Airports around the country are investing in larger checkpoints, which allow the TSA to structure their screening lines more efficiently. There will be lanes for nonPreCheck travelers in which canines might be used to speed up the screening process. Being pre-screened by a TSA dog gives TSA agents the ability to use a lesser level of security on those travelers.
The TSA is working with airports to improve their screening technology. Most recently, the TSA is testing CT scanners. They began testing in Phoenix and Boston. They plan to have 40 scanners in place by the end of 2018, and 145 by the end of 2019. The scanners can detect explosives and other dangerous items through 3D imaging, possibly ending the need for travelers to remove laptops and liquids from their luggage. The TSA will also be testing biometrics for identification purposes.
Even if CT scanners make removing laptops and liquids a thing of the past, non-PreCheck travelers would still need to remove shoes, belts, and jackets. The non-PreCheck lanes will still be subjected to more pat downs and bag searches, slowing down the screening process in those lanes. PreCheck users still have the benefit of moving through security screening without that extra hassle. The TSA’s goals for wait times on PreCheck lanes is 10 minutes or less. They hope to keep non-PreCheck lanes to a wait time of 20 minutes or less.
The TSA’s Adminstrator David Pekoske notes, “It may be the case that the PreCheck lane is longer, but
statistically, PreCheck will still take you half of the time.”