TSA, American Airlines jointly launch automated screening checkpoint lanes at John F. Kennedy International Airport

Local Press Release
Friday, May 26, 2017

NEW YORK – The Transportation Security Administration and American Airlines jointly launched two new automated security screening lanes in Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) earlier this week, introducing state-of-the-art checkpoint technology to the American Airlines terminal before the busy summer travel season. The automated screening lanes incorporate technology that enhances security effectiveness while decreasing the time travelers spend in security screening.

JFK is the fifth airport in the country that has the new automated screening lanes in use and now has a total of 11 of the lanes spread across several terminals. The other four airports with the automated screening lanes include nearby Newark Liberty International Airport with 17 lanes, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 22 lanes, Chicago O’Hare International Airport with five lanes and Los Angeles International Airport with eight lanes. 

“TSA continues to deploy state-of-the-art technologies to ensure that we continue to focus on protecting passengers who travel out of JFK International Airport,” said John Bambury, TSA’s federal security director at the airport. “We look at this new equipment as being able to provide enhanced security while improving the customer experience for travelers flying out of Terminal 8, serving passengers who fly on American Airlines.”

“We are proud to be working collaboratively with the TSA to debut next generation screening technology in Terminal 8,” said Mike McKanna, American Airlines managing director at JFK . “These state-of-the-art lanes enhance security effectiveness and efficiency and will improve the customer experience for our passengers in time for the busy summer travel season.”

The new automated screening lanes offer several features designed to improve the screening of travelers by automating many of the functions previously conducted manually, which allows travelers to move more swiftly and efficiently through the checkpoint. These innovations include:

  • Stainless steel countertops that were constructed to enable several passengers to place their items in bins simultaneously;
  • Automated conveyor belts that draw bins into the X-ray machines, and returns the bins back to the front of the queue for passengers;
  • Carry-on bags that trigger an alarm warning of a potential threat that are automatically pushed to a separate area to allow bins behind it to continue through the screening process uninterrupted;
  • Property bins that are 25 percent larger than the bins in standard screening lanes that are large enough to hold roller bags;
  • Unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that are attached to each bin to allow for additional accountability of a traveler’s items as they transit throughout the security process;
  • Cameras that capture photographic images of the contents of each bin, which are linked side-by-side to the X-ray image of a bag’s contents.

TSA continues to collaborate with vendors, airlines, airports, and across the counter-terrorism community to roll out additional automated checkpoint lanes to improve the screening process as well as help minimize wait times. TSA’s long-term goal is to incorporate enhanced capabilities at checkpoint lanes throughout the country.

“Our responsibility remains keeping passengers safe while also moving through security as efficiently as possible,” Bambury said.