WASHINGTON D.C. (WCMH) — The TSA says it screened more passengers this weekend than at any other point since the pandemic started, and at some airports passengers encountered new security technology that could potentially keep people safe from COVID-19.
Last Thursday, almost one million people wound their way through TSA checkpoints at airports nationwide, and in some cities, those checkpoints looked a little different.
“We’re putting new technologies in place that we’ve planned actually for years,” said David Pekoske, TSA administrator.
Pekoske says the TSA is testing new screening equipment designed to ensure safety in the skies.
“[This will] reduce the contact a passenger will have in the screening process,” Pekoske said.
At Reagan National in Washington, D.C., this new id verification system prevents direct contact between travelers and TSA agents, including no hand off of credentials.
At other airports, TSA has started the roll out of new cat scan technology for carry-on luggage.
“It detects what’s in your carry on bag much much better than the current technology and also gives the officer a three-dimensional image,” Pekoske said.
That high-resolution image Pekoske says also cuts down on physical interactions.
“They can resolve more on the screen that means that we do fewer bag searches,” he said.
Pekoske expects travelers will begin to see the technology at more airports over the next few years.
“It will roll out over time at airports throughout the country, and these are airports of this size and airports that are very small that only have one checkpoint,” he said.
But Pekoske says the final timeline for those roll outs will depend on funding from Congress.