This summer, the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) demonstrated a new advanced algorithm to better detect non-explosive weapons like guns, knives, and other items that are prohibited on commercial aircraft in a real-world setting at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.
The Automatic Prohibited Item Detection (APID) machine learning algorithm—funded by S&T’s Screening at Speed Program—is intended to complement existing Transportation Security Officer (TSO) procedures to enhance and accelerate detection of non-explosive prohibited items. Once operational, it could lead to less direct TSO intervention and fewer secondary screenings, improving efficiency and passenger throughput.
In late August, TSA’s Office of Requirements and Capability Analysis began a study at McCarran’s Innovation Checkpoint, which provides a flexible evaluation environment for emerging security technologies at an active airport security checkpoint. At McCarran, the nation’s seventh busiest airport by passenger volume, TSA partners with facility officials to control the flow of travelers to Innovation Checkpoint lanes without disrupting the flow of operations and while maintaining transparency to travelers.