Baggage Screening: The Key to More Efficient Airports?

July 06, 2015

More than 640 million domestic air passengers hoped for a timely departure in 2012, and yet few ever considered a key part of the security process that makes timely departures possible: screening of baggage that goes into the “hold” of an airplane (more commonly known in the U.S. as “checked” baggage.) 

Passengers tend to focus on the most visible aspect of the screening process -- the security checkpoint -- which includes person and carry-on inspection. For travelers, hold baggage screening, or HBS, is more of an afterthought, the checkpoint’s “silent partner.” But, for airport officials, ineffective HBS processes have far-reaching repercussions: flight delays, lost bags, even cancelations. In fact, given the interdependency of flight scheduling, a single airport’s struggles with HBS could lead to operational inefficiencies and traveler dissatisfaction throughout the entire air travel system. 

Another little known fact: improving the capabilities of hold baggage screening has been a major focus of investment -- both by governments and private industry. TSA, for example, has budgeted hundreds of millions of dollars to support airport improvements and the acquisition of new HBS systems. 

Read the rest of this article at GSN: Government Security News.