To speed up security lines, TSA and Delta try ‘innovation lane’

The future of airport screening may be on display at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The new “innovation lanes” are an idea paid for by Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines to move the screening lines along faster.

Gil West, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of Delta, called the lanes “a game changer.”

Delta, which paid $1 million for the two lanes, estimates that each lane can move 30% more passengers than any standard line operated by the Transportation Security Administration.

The advantage of the “innovation lanes” is that they incorporate parallel conveyor systems, one that sends empty plastic bins to waiting passengers and a second that moves those bins, loaded with passenger’s shoes, belts, carry-on bags and other items toward the X-ray machines.


The system allows up to five passenger per lane to fill bins with their shoes, belts and other items at the same time. Unlike traditional TSA lanes, the queue and the bins keeps moving even when one passenger is moving slowly or needs to be pulled out for extra screening.

Delta said it created the lanes in nine weeks and launched them last month.

Delta has no immediate plans to replicate the lanes at other airports yet but TSA chief Peter Neffenger said the lanes “show dramatic improvements” in moving passengers.

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