Long lines at airport security checkpoints have dominated the headlines lately and the agency responsible for protecting these hubs unveiled a new effort this week that enlists private sector help to keep passengers moving.
The Transportation Security Administration has chosen 15 teams of companies out of a possible 80 to compete for passenger and baggage screening services nationwide under a potential 10-year, $3.3 billion contract vehicle.
More than 435 airports across the country will use private screening companies to check people and bags under the Airport Security Screening Services vehicle.
TSA officially announced the awards June 2 and earlier in that week also issued two notices to industry in search of methods to screen passengers without requiring them to remove coats or shoes, the LA Times reported.
The agency also is examining the possibility of technology that could examine up to 600 bags per hour and have higher levels of explosive detection, according to the LA Times report.
Many eyes and ears were tuned to TSA Chief Peter Neffengerâs testimony to Senate lawmakers Tuesday on what the agency is doing to get passengers through checkpoints quickly as he also highlighted industryâs role in the effort.
Neffenger told the panel TSA has started a new task force with airline, airports and technology makers as participants in a collaboration that aims to put new technologies in an environment that helps determine their effectiveness in security screening.
âCurrently, TSA is exploring opportunities at three airports, with initial demonstrations at Atlanta.Â The findings developed from these sites will be used to inform processes and technologies implemented at other airports, â Neffenger said.
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