SALT LAKE CITY – With the first phase of The New SLC Airport open to travelers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has transitioned its security operations to the new and spacious terminal.
Travelers departing The New SLC will be greeted by a single, centralized security checkpoint outfitted with Automated Screening Lanes (ASLs). With ASLs, multiple travelers are able to simultaneously place their items in bins for screening; conveyor belts move bins into the X-ray
machine tunnel and automatically return the bins to the front of the security checkpoint. Any bag that requires a bag search with be electronically diverted while other luggage continues uninterrupted through the screening process.
ASL bins are 25 percent larger than a typical bin and are able to hold a roll-aboard suitcase. Each bin contains a unique Radio Frequency Identification tag that allows for additional accountability of a traveler’s carry-on property
as it moves through the security screening process. Cameras integrated into the ASLs capture images of the contents of each bin and are linked side-by-side to the X-ray image of the contents of the carry-on bag’s contents.
In addition to the ASLs, the security checkpoint features eight Advanced Imaging Technology body scanners, nine walk-through metal detectors as well as explosive detection equipment. TSA PreCheckTM screening is available alongside general screening lanes. The expansive security checkpoint offers 16 lanes at full capacity.
“TSA worked closely with the Salt Lake City Department of Airports for the past several years to design TSA work areas within The New SLC to ensure optimal space for our employees to carry out the security mission. As a result, TSA will see improved efficiency in all our operations,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Utah Mark Lewis. “Travelers departing The New SLC can expect to see new equipment and state-of-the art technology. We are excited to be a partner in this successful and massive undertaking.”
TSA employees took part in two simulations in August to preview and prepare for operations in the new airport. It included several hours of TSA and airport staff passing through the main checkpoint with carry-on bags to ensure all of the screening equipment was calibrated and fully functional.
TSA was also responsible for searching and inspecting more than two million square feet of the new terminal sterile area to ensure all prohibited items were removed so that The New SLC could open to travelers on September 15.
TSA implements procedures to “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.”
At The New SLC and at airports across the country, TSA has made procedural and policy changes to help travelers understand multiple protective measures that are in place to make the screening process safer and healthier for the traveling public and the TSA workforce due to COVID-19. These procedures have been implemented without compromising security.
TSA has instituted social distancing guidelines to ensure that travelers have adequate space around them while going through the security checkpoint. TSA may opt to open additional screening lanes as needed. TSA also requires its officers to maintain social distance while conducting security screening protocols.
In order to reduce physical contact during the identity verification process, travelers will be asked to keep possession of their paper or electronic boarding pass and scan it on an electronic reader themselves. Travelers will need to hold the boarding passes up to the TSA officer for visual inspection. This self-service move reduces a touchpoint in the security checkpoint.
Departing travelers can expect to see all TSA officers wearing face masks and gloves during the screening process. If a TSA officer is working in close proximity to travelers, they are also required to wear eye protection or a face shield. TSA officers will change their gloves after each screening position rotation, after a pat-down or upon a passenger’s request.
TSA has increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in the security checkpoint, including bins. However, that is no substitute for practicing good hygiene while traveling. Travelers are encouraged to wash their hands before and after going through the checkpoint.
Below are some additional steps the traveling public can take to protect themselves and those around them as they move through the TSA airport security screening process.
Step 1: Pack smart
Travelers should be aware of the contents of their carry-on bags and make sure they are not bringing prohibited items to the security checkpoint. To determine whether an item is allowed or prohibited in carry-on luggage, download the MyTSA app and use the “Can I
Bring?” feature. By planning ahead, travelers can avoid a bag check and reduce the potential for cross-contamination.
Step 2: Wear a mask
While there is no federal mandate for travelers to wear a mask in the security checkpoint area, TSA strongly recommends all travelers wear a face covering throughout the entire travel experience. Travelers may be asked to adjust their mask for ID verification or if alarms during the security screening process. If a traveler does not have a mask and they require a pat-down, a TSA officer will provide a mask. Since late June, the public has been required to wear face coverings in all public areas of the airport.
Step 3: Place items in your carry-on
When removing items from pockets such as mobile phones, keys, lip balm, tissues and loose change, travelers should place those items into their carry-on bags instead of into bins to reduce potential contamination.
Step 4: Traveling with food
In general screening lanes, food items should be packed in a clear plastic bag and placed in a bin for screening. This simple step further reduces the potential for cross-contamination and avoids having food sit directly in bins.
Step 5: Traveling with hand sanitizer
TSA is currently allowing one oversized liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags. Please remove the hand sanitizer from the carry-on bag and place it in a bin for screening. Passengers may also bring hand wipes of any size or quantity through security checkpoints.
For more information on the TSA security screening process during the pandemic, visit www.tsa.gov.