USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

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

Comments

Submitted by RB on

"a curb-to-gate secure travel environment"??????????????????????????????????????????

TSA has no authority before a person presents for screening entering the TSA checkpoint. On exactly what authority is TSA operating outside of the checkpoint? TSA already has extensive information of every traveler, at least US citizens. No need to amass more PII without completing several required legal steps. When has any of this been published in the Federal Record so citizens can comment? Where are the PIA's that TSA is required to publish? And how will more security help when TSA screeners are known to miss 96% of threat items?

I need less TSA in my life not more and for a very ineffective agency no one will notice any difference with less TSA.

Submitted by James Elsea on

The sooner the better. Long overdue. TSA should have the best and most advanced equipment available. I almost never fly anymore because of security. I don't like undressing ever time I fly. With more advanced equipment there may by hope for the future.

Submitted by Jo Sugai on

Most security measures are focused on airports, how about train stations and subways. I recently travelled to Ann Arbor, Michigan from the Union Station in Chicago and no security mechanisms whatsoever were present. Tons of people and students returning to their schools and I saw no security personnel checking on luggages and carry ons. I am just an ordinary citizen who observed the goings on but what about people who have evil intentions of harming, they do more than observe, they plan their attacks especially knowing there are no barriers to their evil plans. With what's going on around the world, I hope some measures of safety can be implemented in train stations, subways and bus stations. I fear for my son's safety when he comes home to Chicago for a visit.

Submitted by James M Shebl Phd on

thinking of going to cuba with several family members (guys...ladies said no thanks)...what are the latest rules, regulations, source for such.
shebl

ps as far as I have witnessed, your folks are THE BEST!

Submitted by Anonymous on

I need less TSA in my life not more...

wOw! For someone who wants less TSA in his life you certainly spend a lot of time on the TSA Blog Site!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 2017-06-19 19:07
I need less TSA in my life not more...

wOw! For someone who wants less TSA in his life you certainly spend a lot of time on the TSA

()()()()()()()()()()()())()()

wOw! We have a time monitor

Submitted by Chip In Florida on

".. That’s why TSA is working aggressively and creatively to counter terrorist operations"

When did your 'limited administrative search' turn into counter terrorism operations? Who authorized the change, when, and where are the public notices for public input?

Like someone said above, I want LESS TSA in the airports, not more. You haven't stopped any terrorists yet, all of your policies are designed to stop the last threat instead of the next one, and your one-size-fits-all approach is actually making the US less safe, not more.

But what do I know. I am just a citizen watching eight billion tax dollars get pissed away every year by an agency that can't even keep it's own policies in order but someone wants me to believe you can keep the skies safe.

Submitted by RB on

But what do I know. I am just a citizen watching eight billion tax dollars get pissed away every year by an agency that can't even keep it's own policies in order but someone wants me to believe you can keep the skies safe.

..................
TSA can't even train screeners how to screen breast milk and they want us to believe they keep us safe

Submitted by Anonymous on

Chip and rb...

You complain about everything and say they don't do any good, waste money, and do not stop terrorist or attacks. But has there been any successful attacks on a plane since 911?

I'll answer for you.

No.

But do continue. Your comments are comedy.

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 2017-06-25 22:50
Chip and rb...

You complain about everything and say they don't do any good, waste money, and do not stop terrorist or attacks. But has there been any successful attacks on a plane since 911?

I'll answer for you.

No.

But do continue. Your comments are comedy.

...............

No terrorist have tried. If they had TSA would fail like they fail Red Team tests 96% of the time.

Submitted by ATL on

I travel every week and transit TSA checkpoints at least 4 times a week. I have paid for the convenience of the PreChek program and given you a lot of personal information. Yet, on a purely random basis I am pulled out of the line for the inconvenient experience of the body scanner. First, I don't know why you would do this on a purely random basis given that you have all of my information, money and qualified me as acceptable to your standards. After years of tracking me, do you really think I have become a liability? If you are spending your time on someone like me, is it possible that you are overlooking someone that is more likely to pose a problem? How about a refund for every time I am inconvenienced?
One suggestion, please replace your police uniforms with a nice sport jacket and your badges with a nice name plate. This presents a more "customer service" appearance. When you put a badge on a minimum wage employee, their attitudes change for the worse.

Submitted by Chip In Florida on

"...You complain about everything and say they don't do any good, waste money, and do not stop terrorist or attacks. But has there been any successful attacks on a plane since 911?"

Lets see.....

Shoe-Bomber. Unsuccessful attack so your statement is still true. Credit for the lack of success has nothing to do with the TSA but whatever.

Underwear-Bomber. Unsuccessful attack so again, your statement is still true. Also threat not caught by nor stopped by anything the TSA does or did or plans on doing but whatever.

There was the time some terrorists wanted to blow up the fuel lines going to JFK airport, but that threat was stopped by an agency that has nothing to do with the TSA. You are still correct, no successful attempts yet.

It seems that Airplanes are not as popular a target as the TSA would have us believe. A tidbit of information that seems supported by a similar dearth of terrorist attacks on aircraft in all the other nations that aren't protected by the TSA.

So back to you...... what good is the TSA? What are we the taxpayers getting for our eight billion dollars a year that makes it worth spending it on the TSA instead of something more productive to society like schools or roads? Show us what plots the TSA has foiled, what terrorists have been captured in advance of their plans by having them take off their shoes and put their toothpaste in the quart sized zippy bag.

Submitted by Amanda on

After September 11th, the U.S. made transportation security a main priority in airports around the country. As important as innovation is concerning security measures, TSA is disregarding other important concerns. As the number of terrorist attacks in metro and train stations around the world increases, there is no improvement of security measures in these areas. In order to provide the most effective transportation security in the most efficient way as a high performing counterterrorism organization, TSA needs to innovate on ways to secure other high volume areas of transportation. The traveling public goes beyond those who are visiting airports.

Submitted by Hollis Beard Jr on

Why is it that the populous is so accepting of long waits in McDonald's fast food restaurants, but can't seem to wait to save their lives. Saturated fats v. Transfats (Ha!)
In my TSA screener voice "BACK UP AND STAND BEHIND THE YELLOW TAPPED LINE!"

Submitted by BR on

If you want less TSA security then go hop on a bus or drive yourself to your next far away destination. As for the majority of us american citizens, we what more advancement in security technology to prevent terrorist attacks and blood bath. These terrorist will never stop trying to find a way to do us harm and that is why we must keep evolving and making vast improvement's not devolving and making ourselves more vulnerable as you suggest. We need to maintain and continue to improve and lead the rest of the world to have the most advanced sophisticated security equipment's and officer's.