BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The TSA's newest upgrade in airport security is ready to go at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
It's automated, enhances security, and it's supposed to get you through screening lines faster.
MSP has become the seventh U.S. airport to install the new automated screening lanes. It has four of them right now, but more are expected at the north checkpoint sometime next year.
"It seems like it went a little quicker," said traveler Anna Dirkswager of Andover.
TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers says the new lanes include automated bin return, automatic diversion of carry-ons that may contain prohibited items, and bins that are 25 percent larger.
"The first thing people will notice when they come into the lanes with the automated screening features is there is going to be four separate stations," Dankers said.
The stations aim to cut back on empty space and time.
"I would say it's definitely more efficient in terms of the process, because you can have four passengers doing this simultaneously, that's quicker," Dankers said.
Once your bin hits the conveyor belt, a special chip and chip reader also speed things along.
"It's also simultaneously taking a picture of the bag – the exterior of the bag that's going to be paired with the X-ray image of the bag and the unique identifier of the chip itself," Dankers said.
So the accuracy, theoretically, goes up.
"It takes away the human error factor," she said.
As the bag travels through the X-ray system, the agent now has extra images to determine if items inside it are allowed.
"If she determines there's a threat item, it's going to automatically divert it."
It will be diverted to an area passengers can see, but not reach. An agent will then scan the chip on the bin to bring up all the images and inspect the bag.
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