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Transportation Security Administration

Automated screening lanes come to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Local Press Release
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

SEATTLE - Officials with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport today announced that Automated Screening Lanes (ASLs) have been installed and are in use at security checkpoint 5, which is located at the north end of the airport terminal. This state-of-the-art technology enhances security efficiency while decreasing the amount of time travelers spend in the security screening process.

Currently, there are three ASLs in use at Sea-Tac Airport. Installation of the lanes was completed last week.

“ASLs improve security. TSA officers can spend more time looking for threats and less time on the manual labor of moving bins around the security checkpoint,” said Jeff Holmgren, TSA Federal Security Director for Washington state. “We will continue to work with the Port of Seattle to identify innovations that improve aviation security.”

“This investment by the Port of Seattle is about improving the customer experience, security and efficiency – all goals to serve our travelers better,” said Lance Lyttle, Managing Director of Sea-Tac Airport. “As one of the fastest growing airports in the nation, we appreciate the partnership with the TSA to find innovative ways to make the experience better for our travelers.”

The automated screening lanes offer several new features designed to improve the screening process for travelers going through the security checkpoint including:

  • Stainless steel countertops designed specifically to enable multiple passengers to place their items in bins simultaneously;
  • Automated conveyor belts that move bins into the X-ray machine tunnel and return the bins to the front of the security checkpoint;
  • Automatic diversion of any carry-on bag that may contain a prohibited item; the diversion of a bag to a separate location allows other bins containing other travelers’ belongings to continue through the screening process uninterrupted;
  • Bins that are 25 percent larger than a typical bin and are able to hold a roll-aboard suitcase;
  • Unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that are attached to each bin, allowing for additional accountability of a traveler’s carry-on property as they move throughout the security screening process;
  • Cameras that capture photographic images of the contents of each bin and are linked side-by-side to the X-ray image of a carry-on bag’s contents.

A video of how the ASLs work can be viewed on Sea-Tac Airport’s YouTube channel. TSA continues to collaborate with vendors, airlines, airports, and the counter-terrorism community to expand the number of automated screening lanes in use at airports across the country. To date, TSA has overseen installation of more than 125 lanes in TSA security checkpoints at 14 different airports.

In addition to Sea-Tac Airport, ASLs are in use at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Boston Logan International Airport; Chicago O’Hare International Airport; Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport; George Bush Intercontinental Airport; John F. Kennedy International Airport; LaGuardia Airport; Las Vegas McCarran International Airport; Los Angeles International Airport; Miami International Airport; Midway International Airport; Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; and Newark Liberty International Airport.