Industry Focus

Taking Stock of Security

Throughout the course of a calendar year, we take a look at numerous security solutions, events and, in our case, publications. In this issue, we have a specialty publication that focuses on government security. Security in the public sector is a big deal.

First and foremost, if the government can’t protect itself, then we’re all in trouble. The government, whether federal, state or local, must have a means to protect those things that belong to all of us. Security in the government arena is complex. First of all, there are so many assets, staff, computers and secrets.

We all get a first-hand look at government security operations each time we go to the airport. Like it or not, that is government security in action. I’ve noticed over the years, that TSA staff has gotten a little more cordial, as opposed to an affront attitude of entering the airport. I guess it has been a matter of getting used to each other.

An airport can be a crazy place. There are, of course, those people who are always late, and that means getting through a security checkpoint is not only an inconvenience for them, but people in general are an inconvenience. Waiting in line is no fun, but security is a necessity these days.

In May, TSA, Delta Airlines and JFKIAT, LLC jointly launched new automated security screening lanes in Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). This is state-of-the-art checkpoint technology at one of the busiest airports in the country. The automated screening lanes incorporate technology that enhances security effectiveness while decreasing the time travelers spend in security screening.

TSA and Delta deployed the first six of 17 automated screening lanes to JFK Airport in Terminals 2 and 4. Two lanes in Terminal 2 and another four lanes are in use in Terminal 4. When all of the lanes are installed in those terminals, JFK will have three lanes in Terminal 2 and 14 lanes in Terminal 4.

JFK is the fifth airport in the country that has the new automated screening lanes in use. The other four airports are nearby Newark Liberty International Airport with 17 lanes, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 22 lanes, Chicago O’Hare International Airport with five lanes and Los Angeles International Airport with eight lanes.

“TSA continues to deploy state-of-theart technologies to ensure that we continue to focus on protecting passengers who travel out of JFK International Airport,” said John Bambury, TSA’s Federal Security Director at the airport. “We look at this new equipment as being able to provide enhanced security while improving the customer experience for travelers.” Delta was the first airline to make the

investment of the security lanes earlier this year. In fact, Delta’s Hussein Berry, who is vice president of airport operations at JFK, said it is a game changer and an innovative solution that will enhance customers’ experience at the airport.

“Our responsibility remains keeping passengers safe while also moving through security as efficiently as possible,” Bambury said.

TSA continues to collaborate with vendors, airlines, airports, and across the counter-terrorism community to roll out additional automated checkpoint lanes to improve the screening process as well as help minimize wait times. TSA’s long-term goal is to incorporate enhanced capabilities at checkpoint lanes throughout the country.

I think TSA is getting it right. Technology and forward thinking takes the place of what we all know can be a confusing and stressful airport experience.

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is the Publisher of Security Today magazine.


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