Airport Business

MAY 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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WORLD Mature technology in airport security offers viable options for getting passengers in and out of sterile areas efficiently and painlessly. By Joe Petrie While Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) keeps seeing more passengers flow through its facilities, limited terminal space has created a major pinch point in traffic. SEA installed three automated screening lanes (ASL) at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at the north end of the terminal in March. Lance Lyttle, managing director of SEA, said the airport invested in the system because it moves passengers through the checkpoint in a more efficient manner. "We don't have a lot of space to expand our security checkpoints, so we have to make it work as efficient as possible," he said. "Over the years, we've done multiple things. We hired guest contract workers to help us during peak times, we've worked really closely with the TSA to get additional K9 units so we could get people through the checkpoints faster. This is an additional way that we're looking to make our security checkpoint far more efficient than what we have now and far more secure." The ASL moves bins through X-ray machine tunnels and automatically divert baggage with prohibited items. Once the bins are emptied, they're automatically transferred back to the start of the screening area so TSA officers don't have to physically move them from the sterile side to non-sterile side. SEA opted for the Vanderlande system and will have 14 ASLs when the project is completed. It has budgeted $17 million for the project. Lyttle said the airport led the design and construction of the ASLs and paid for the lanes. They worked with TSA and the airlines to make sure their needs were met with the upgrades. However, the enhanced lanes dropped the number of screening lanes at the checkpoint from seven to six. "These lanes are efficient, but they require more space," he said. "We had to do some really careful planning and we had to draw on the innovation of our designers to ensure we maximized the use of this space because we're going to end up losing lanes in totality, but we gain efficiencies through the ASL lanes we have over the traditional lanes." Lyttle said he was comfortable with losing lanes because staff has done site visits to other airports with the equipment and see the efficiency gains. "Some airports have reported a 30 percent increase in efficiency and throughput," he said. "We think it's really a wise investment." Lyttle recommended airports interested in ASLs should get all of the key stakeholders on board and to plan exactly how to fit the larger machines into the facility. He said it's important to work closely with the vendor as well to make sure the equipment is working properly. "Training is a key component," he said. "You have to make sure you coordinate with the TSA so they can get their folks trained on how to use the automated screening lanes as opposed to the other lanes. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Lance Lyttle May 2018 airportbusiness 29

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