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Published On: Thu, May 26th, 2016

Atlanta airport tests conveyor belt system that could speed up security

Amid a nationwide debate about how to speed up security checkpoints, Atlanta airport is testing a new apparatus that if successful could spread to other cities.

The new system is an automated conveyer belt that uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to keep track of bags as they move through security, reports CNN. If a bag passes through that needs to be further inspected, it is pushed to the side while the other bags behind it keep moving.

Once the bins have passed through security, they automatically recirculate back to the front of the line for the next travelers. (Anyone who has waited and waited for an agent to bring around the stack of bins will appreciate this.)

Airports in London and Amsterdam already use similar technology.

The new setup also includes a special area at the front of the line for passengers to take off shoes, belts and jackets.

The new lines were partially funded by Delta Air Lines, which paid $1 million for research and development.

While the new conveyor belt systems do not increase security per se, the TSA is hopeful they could speed up wait times as much as 35%.

After TSA officials collect data from the test at Atlanta airport, the new security lanes could start appearing at other airports within five years, a TSA official told CNN.

Not enough to help your summer vacation … but better than nothing.

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