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Security “Checkpoints of the Future” Should Lessen the Hassles of Flying

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on June 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Did you know that the average time spent going through airport security is 35 minutes? And we’re sure many of you have waited much longer than that. Not only is the waiting a pain, but how about taking your laptop out of your bag, removing your shoes and belt, and taking your jacket off? Then to be randomly selected for either a full body scan or a pat down. Not cool.

Hopefully most of that will be a thing of the past within the next five years. As reported by news.com.au, the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) has revealed its plans to eventually implement what it calls the “checkpoint of the future.” In the new system, low-risk passengers would walk through a 6.1 meter long “tunnel” that will scan shoes and bags and check for liquids and explosives.

Image: Iata.org

The IATA expects industry profits to fall from $18 billion last year to $4 billion this year, some of it attributed to people who just don’t want to deal with the hassle of flying. And if it’s not the hassle, it’s the intrusion of privacy that many have a big problem with. IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani said,

Passengers should be able to get from curb to boarding gate with dignity. That means without stopping, stripping or unpacking, and certainly not groping.

The US Transportation Security Authority (TSA) is already working on a system to identify low-risk passengers to scale back on needless security checks. Pilot programs may begin as early as this year for frequent flyers and those with no criminal record to have minimal checks.

Tags: airport security, checkpoint of the future, iata, TSA

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