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LAX now leads nation in 'automated' lanes designed to speed bag screening

LAX now leads nation in 'automated' lanes designed to speed bag screening
Los Angeles International Airport has 27 "automated" screening lanes, more than any other airport in the country. Officials say the lanes can speed up screening times by up to 30%. (Los Angeles International Airport)

Los Angeles International Airport is the nation's second-busiest airport, but it is now No. 1 in the number of new "automated" lanes designed to speed security screenings.

LAX last week added 14 lanes that use multiple conveyor belts to allow five passengers to simultaneously unload bags, shoes and clothes into bins to be screened. Airline officials say the lanes can make screenings up to 30% faster.

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The 14 lanes — also known as Innovation Lanes — were installed at the Tom Bradley International Terminal and are in addition to 13 previously installed lanes in Terminals 7, 3 and 2. Airport officials say they plan to add three more automated lanes in Terminal 3 later this year.

Airline officials and representatives from the Transportation Security Administration have touted the lanes, which have five separate stations where passengers can unload their carry-on bags and belongings at the same time before the items go through an X-ray scanner. Two conveyor belts — one that brings empty bins to the travelers and one that takes full bins to the scanner — keep the line moving, even when one of the stations is occupied by a slow-moving passenger.

"For the LAX guest, this is a great example of how technology will help speed their journey through the airport while also improving safety and security," said Aura Moore, chief information officer for Los Angeles World Airports.

The lanes at LAX were built by L3 MacDonald Humfrey Automation, based in the United Kingdom.

The lanes were first introduced two years ago by Delta Air Lines at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which has 22 automated lanes. The lanes also have been installed at Newark Liberty International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, among others.

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