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DFW Airport to spend $3.5 million to enhance TSA screening

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport expects to spend $3.5 million on new automated screening machines to install at five security checkpoints next year.
Dallas/Fort Worth Airport expects to spend $3.5 million on new automated screening machines to install at five security checkpoints next year. DFW Airport

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport plans to spend up to $3.5 million on ten automated screening machines designed to speed up TSA lines for passengers.

Airport vice president Nate Smith said the first two checkpoints should be open before spring break next year and will should lead to shorter wait times for passengers moving through the Transportation Security Administration screening process. The same machines were already installed at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport earlier this year.

“In Atlanta, they have seen a 30 percent increase in the capacity throughput. We expect to see the same,” Smith told the airport board at its committee meeting on Tuesday. “We are looking forward to getting this equipment installed.”

The machines, made by MacDonald Humfrey, allow for images of carry-on luggage to be viewed in more than one location so TSA agents can continue screening luggage even as an x-ray technician and supervisor are reviewing a suspicious bag. The machines also automatically move trays quickly through the screening process and return them to the beginning of the line without a TSA agent needing to move them.

Video of automated screening machines

The airport plans to install two machines each at checkpoints in three terminals near gates A21, D18, D22, D30 and E18. The full airport board is expected to approve the expense at its meeting on Thursday.

Earlier this summer, American Airlines and the TSA announced a joint initiative to install new screening technology at DFW, Chicago O’Hare, Miami and Los Angeles airports. American plans to spend $5 million on the initiative.

The TSA came under pressure to reduce wait times as security lines swelled at airports across the country earlier this year due to staffing shortages and changes in screening protocols.

Separately, the airport’s concessions committee approved a lease with Code 3 Urgent Care to open a medical clinic in Terminal D. The clinic will be about 1,700 square feet and will provide walk-in medical treatment for passengers and airport employees.

It also approved a lease for 1.43 acres of land to build a Code 3 Emergency Room near the airport’s headquarters and rental car center in the Southgate development.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

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