4 US airports to open automated security lanes this fall

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Automated Security Lanes To Be Implemented At Four US Airports

July 5 (Reuters) - Four major U.S. airports plan to speed up security checks by automating the distribution of bins for travelers' carry-on bags, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and American Airlines Group Inc said on Tuesday.

American's hubs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and Miami will open the automated lanes this fall, which are expected to decrease wait times by 30 percent, the airline and TSA said in a joint statement.

Long security lines at U.S. airports this spring caused thousands of travelers to miss their flights and prompted criticism of TSA by airlines and other industry groups.

In an interview last month, American's CEO Doug Parker said the world's largest airline was working with airports to roll out the faster lanes, already in place at rival Delta Air Lines Inc's Atlanta hub.

A look inside airport security job training:

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A look inside airport security job training
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A look inside airport security job training
In this Wednesday, June 8, 2016, photo, a Transportation Security Administration officer candidate passes through a body scanner as she plays the part of an air traveler during a training session in an airport security checkpoint simulator at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Hans Phifer works with Rufus, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift luggage area during a drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
This Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo shows an etching of a bomb-sniffing dog on the glass door at the entrance to the Transportation Security Administration canine training facilityat Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Sylvia, a bomb-sniffing dog, searches a mail cart in a makeshift warehouse during a Transportation Security Administration training drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration instructor Larry Colburn covers his ears as he prepares to set off an explosive device during a lecture to airport security officer candidates at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Wednesday, June 8, 2016, photo, a Transportation Security Administration instructor watches candidates train on a baggage X-ray machine during a training session in an airport security checkpoint simulator at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Tref, a bomb-sniffing dog, goes through drills in a makeshift airport at a Transportation Security Administration training facility at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Wednesday, June 8, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration officer candidates practice pat-down techniques during a training session in airport security checkpoint procedures at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Ford Rinewalt works with Sylvia, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift warehouse during a drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
This Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo shows explosive compounds on display for Transportation Security Administration candidates during an explosives lecture at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration airport security officer candidates listen during an explosives lecture at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
This Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo, shows an explosive trigger on display for Transportation Security Administration candidates during an explosives lecture at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Melissa Ellis works with Toska, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift warehouse area during a drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Mitchell Brown works with Atilla, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift luggage area at Lackland Air Force Base training facility in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Bella, a bomb-sniffing dog, wears a "Do Not Pet" harness as she goes through drills in a makeshift airport during drills at Lackland Air Force Base training facility in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Mitchell Brown works with Atilla, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift luggage area at Lackland Air Force Base training facility in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration trainer Anthony Martinez works with Bella, a bomb-sniffing dog, during drills in a makeshift airport at a Lackland Air Force Base training facility in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Anthony Martinez works with Bella, a bomb-sniffing dog, during drills in a makeshift airport at a Lackland Air Force Base training facility in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Ford Rinewalt works with Sylvia, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift warehouse during a drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Melissa Ellis works with Toska, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift warehouse area during a drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Atilla, a bomb-sniffing dog, is rewarded with a tennis ball as she trains with Transportation Security Administration's Mitchell Brown in a makeshift luggage area during a drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Melissa Ellis works with Toska, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift warehouse area during a drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Melissa Ellis works with Toska, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift warehouse area during a drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Ford Rinewalt works with Sylvia, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift warehouse during a drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Hans Phifer works with Rufus, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift luggage area during a drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration dog trainer Ford Rinewalt works with Sylvia, a bomb-sniffing dog, in a makeshift warehouse during a drill at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Short-staffed and stung by a report showing banned items slipping through security, the TSA is training new agents and canine teams to do a better job.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Wednesday, June 8, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration officer candidate Mark Holm role plays as a passenger during a training session in an airport security checkpoint simulator at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration instructor Larry Colburn gives an explosives lecture to airport security officer candidates at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo, a Transportation Security Administration instructor holds an explosives trigger during an explosives lecture to airport security officer candidates at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Wednesday, June 8, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration officer candidate Shasta Terry gets help from instructor Frank Crane as she learns to scan bags during an airport security training session at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Wednesday, June 8, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration officer candidate Crystal Champagne scans baggage during a training session in an airport security checkpoint simulator at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration security officer candidates attend an explosives lecture at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration airport security officer candidates listen during an explosives lecture at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration security officer candidates cover their ears as an explosive device is detonated on a bomb range during an explosives demonstration at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo, an explosive device is detonated on a bomb range during an explosives demonstration for Transportation Security Administration candidates at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Wednesday, June 8, 2016, photo, a Transportation Security Administration candidate learns to operate a body scanner during a training session at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo, Transportation Security Administration instructor Larry Colburn gives an explosives lecture to airport security candidates at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
In this Tuesday, June 7, 2016, photo, a bomb is detonated on a range during an explosives demonstration for Transportation Security Administration officer candidates at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga. Short-staffed and often criticized, the TSA aims to improve training for airport screeners. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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At the four airports, automated conveyer belts will move bins for carry-on luggage through X-ray machines and divert those with suspicious items to a separate area, preventing bottlenecks. After screening is complete, the belts automatically move the bins back to the start of each lane.

American and TSA also said they plan to add computed tomography, or CT, scans for carry-on bags at a checkpoint in Phoenix by year-end.

The technology, currently in use for checked luggage, could allow travelers to leave carry-on liquids and laptops stowed in their bags.

"Think of the time - and bins! - that saves," American's Chief Operating Officer Robert Isom said in a letter to employees on Tuesday, shared with Reuters, noting that the airline is spending nearly $5 million on the new lanes.

"Neither initiative is a slam dunk to solve TSA woes, but they are both huge steps in the right direction," he said.

American has said the TSA must add enough staff to handle checkpoints during peak travel times, without relying on airlines to contract extra airport staff. Earlier this year, TSA projected it will screen 15 percent more people than in 2013, with 12 percent fewer agents.

TSA may deploy CT scans elsewhere if the Phoenix pilot program succeeds, according to the statement.


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