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Transportation Security Administration

Working to Protect You: Innovation Task Force

Monday, June 12, 2017
Computed Tomography Technology

It’s no secret that the threat from terrorism is continuously evolving and imaginative. That’s why TSA is working aggressively and creatively to counter terrorist operations and protect the nation’s transportation systems.

With attacks taking place around the world, we knew we had to accelerate our efforts to make advances in security technology by working better and faster with industry and private vendors. We needed to create an environment that is continuously reimagining the security experience -- finding ways to enhance security while ensuring a positive travel experience.

A little over a year ago, TSA initiated a public-private partnership to harness the ingenuity and entrepreneurial of both sectors and help meet our mission to protect the traveling public. We did so by establishing the Innovation Task Force to help identify and pilot exceptional security technologies, even those that are still on the drawing board.

Biometric Fingerprint TechnologyIn partnership with the airlines and airport authorities, we began deploying automated screening lanes, at some of our highest volume airports last year, with more planned this year. These lanes improve security effectiveness and increase operational efficiencies by moving lines faster and reducing crowding at checkpoints. Additionally, we’re working on piloting computed tomography technology, which uses 3D imaging to screen bags at security checkpoints, and we are also testing the use of biometrics to increase awareness of who passengers are and how and when they are passing through airports.

One of the primary goals is to create a curb-to-gate secure travel environment that is less invasive and more secure. To meet that goal, the task force looks at technologies and intelligence capabilities that allows us to analyze and secure the travel environment, passengers and their property. The more information you share with us, the more efficiently and effectively we can protect you. By identifying and separating trusted travelers, like those enrolled in DHS trusted traveler programs from those who pose more of a risk, we are able to provide more targeted security procedures.

This year, the task force will bring more deployment and experimentation of new technologies into public settings. You may be asked to volunteer in testing these new technologies on your next flight. If so, please let us know about your experience by tweeting @AskTSA or messaging us Facebook.com/AskTSA.

We know that aviation remains a top target and there is a very real and determined enemy that we must protect against. The Innovation Task Force is meant to be drivers of continuous reinventing and defining of our security posture to meet the evolving threat environment and always stay one step ahead of the enemy.  

Steve Karoly

Acting Assistant Administrator

Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis

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