TSA rolls out new technology, aiming to cut down time in line

Dane Co. Regional Airport installed the new technology in the fall.
Published: May. 21, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT|Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - As COVID-19 restrictions ease and more people get vaccinated, travel is picking up across the country. AAA Travel predicts this Memorial Day weekend, travel will be up 60 percent over last year.

This May, Dane Co. Regional Airport (MSN) is seeing roughly 1,800 travelers come through a day. In May of 2020, that number was only 200. Airport representatives say as more people start to pack their bags for the first time in months, they should expect some changes.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is rolling out new technology at airports across the country, including at MSN, with a goal of cutting down time spent in line.

A new system installed in November means passengers will not longer need to show a boarding pass in the security line, just a photo I.D.

“A lot of passengers, especially if you haven’t flown in a while, you would be used to handing your I.D. and a paper boarding pass. Then, the officer would manually validate security features on the I.D. and match it all up to the boarding pass. This machine does all that for us,” said the TSA security trainer instructor at Dane Co. Regional, Brian Fieber.

Also, certain security lanes have a new X-ray machine that allows passengers to leave electronics, such as a laptop, and liquids in their bags. TSA officers say Computed Tomography (CT) technology allows them to rotate the images in 3-D.

“We are very excited TSA rolled this technology out here in Madison, even earlier than a lot of other airports, because it is increasing the ease of travel and convenience Madison brings,” Dane Co. Regional Airport Spokesperson Michael Riechers, said

TSA Spokesperson Frank Pipia said there are still several other things to keep in mind when traveling, such as the fact masks are still required at the airport and on the plane.

“Have your I.D. ready when you walk up to the ticket document checker, just so you are ready and it keeps the flow going,” Pipia said.

Pipia said travel has picked up significantly nationwide, with more than 1.5 million people flying per day. The new technology is still being rolled out at various airports across the state and country, so TSA officers say they will give directions and guidance as people go through security.

Pipia also said TSA is seeing an uptick in firearms across the nation being confiscated in security, and the agency wants people to be extra mindful when packing their bags. Passengers who bring a gun to a federal security checkpoint could face a fine of more than $13,000 dollars.

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