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LAX is adding 14 automated screening lines at its international terminal

LAX is adding 14 automated screening lines at its international terminal
The lanes speed up the queue by using two conveyor belts, one that sends empty plastic bins to waiting passengers and a second that moves those bins, loaded with passengers’ shoes, belts, carry-on bags and other items toward the X-ray machines. (Hugo Martin / Los Angeles Times)

Travelers headed out of Los Angeles International Airport to other countries may find security screening lines moving a bit faster this holiday season because of a new system for moving bins of personal items to the X-ray machines.

LAX officials plan a Friday debut for five “automated screening lanes” at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Plans call for installation of 14 of these new lanes by spring at the terminal at a cost of $12.3 million.

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Airline officials say the automated screening lanes can cut waiting times by 30%.

Delta Air Lines debuted the “Innovation lanes” at Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta last year and followed up at LAX and elsewhere. Since then, American Airlines and United Airlines have installed similar lanes at LAX and other airports.

The lanes speed up the queue by using two conveyor belts, one that sends empty plastic bins to waiting passengers and a second that moves those bins, loaded with passengers’ shoes, belts, carry-on bags and other items toward the X-ray machines.

One of the advantages of the system is that five passengers can unload their items into the bins at the same time. The lanes don’t get bogged down by a passenger who is moving slowly or is picked for extra screening because the conveyor belt systems let other travelers move around the delayed traveler.

LAX is one of 11 airports in the country where the lanes are already in use. Others include Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Miami International Airport.

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