BOSTON (CBS) – Long security lines at airports are among the worst things about flying. But on Wednesday, Logan Airport unveiled a new system to speed things up, and people we talked to said it worked.
They call them automated screening lanes, and Logan just put two of them into operation in Terminal C. They don’t look too different from what we’re used to, but the small changes make a difference. “If you can save a few seconds on every passenger, that starts equating to minutes and hours,” says Mike McCarthy from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The bins are bigger so passengers can put more stuff in just one. After that stuff is removed the bin drops into a hole and a conveyor sends it back to its starting place so agents don’t have to spend time running back and forth with them. And as bags come out of the x-ray machine, some of them are automatically shuttled to one side.
“If there’s a bag that needs a secondary search, it will automatically divert to this lane closer to you,” McCarthy says. That keeps the line moving, and so do the automatic conveyor belts that move the bins. There’s also a Radio Frequency ID tag on each of the bins so they can be more easily tracked.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes in terms of the size, the openness and the number of people working on this thing,” says one passenger.
“I can only compare it coming from Detroit to here, but maybe a half hour there and 10 minutes here. Definitely a noticeable difference,” adds another.
Logan is the twelfth airport in the country to install the automated lanes. While they’re faster, the TSA says security will be just as good if not better. They hope to put in more of them in the future.