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The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has announced that they will soon be using “state-of-the-art automated exit lane technology” to monitor airport exits.  This comes as TSA has announced their intention to offload this responsibility onto individual airports.  Apparently such technology has been in use in Europe since 2001, but as usual TSA never got the memo.

The new automated exit lane technology has been successfully tested this summer at the concourse B exit. Passengers will find the system easy to use while providing increased safety and reducing operational costs. Using a combination of sensors, cameras and alarms, the new technology responds instantly to security situations and offers immediate analysis, leading to the quick resolution of any issues.

Designed to accommodate a high volume of passengers, the new exit lane technology consists of three parallel, one-way doors with multiple lanes to funnel passengers out from the secure side of the airport. The doors open independently and automatically as passengers approach, allowing for more effective security. Sensors detect if a passenger changes direction between the doors or tries to enter from the wrong direction, triggering alarms and the locking of exit doors. Cameras, monitored 24/7, provide additional subject tracking opportunities.

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport expects to achieve annual cost savings of $1.8 million.  As more airports install these automated exit lanes, we here at TSA Today also expect a substantial payback in reliability and travelers’ convenience thanks to reduced terminal dumps due to inattentive and sleeping personnel.