Can Airport Security be Streamlined Without Compromising Safety?

Can Airport Security be Streamlined Without Compromising Safety?


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Towards the return to a normal routine, innovation is required in airport security. The Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate and the TSA have partnered to establish self-screening systems for airport passengers. The move is 

part of a larger broad agency announcement for Apex Screening at Speed, or SaS DHS program.

SaS, in conjunction with TSA’s Innovation Task Force, is considering the development of a passenger self-screening solution to transform the TSA’s concept of operations.

The agencies’ pre-solicitation notice compares the desired experience to that of “self-checkout at grocery stores, self-tagging checked baggage or ATM machines.”

“This concept is initially targeted towards the TSA PreCheck environment, but as the capability matures it may be deployed as a part of a variety of security postures,” the notice states.

The solution should be able to detect “weapons and organic threat items hidden on passengers without the same level of transportation security officer engagement normally present in the screening process.”

The agencies plan to break the effort into three components: systems engineering and concept design resulting in blueprints for a working prototype; advancing existing hardware at low- to mid-level readiness to Technology Readiness Level 7 within one year; and advance low- to mid-level software to Technology Readiness Level 7 within one year.

The contract will be awarded through a full and open competition with plans to award “multiple stand-alone contracts.” A full solicitation and request for white papers is expected sooner than later, as the agencies plan to make awards in late fiscal 2020 or early fiscal 2021, according to