TSA trials self-service screening at Las Vegas

The TSA and DHS are trialling a self-service screening system at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas.

It’s much the same as the current processes but with fewer TSA officers (TSO) involved. Their role is more to supervise and assist if necessary.

TSA Pre-Check passengers can use the system at the TSA Innovation Checkpoint in Terminal 3.

TSA says ‘the aim is to provide a near self-sufficient passenger screening process while enabling passengers to directly receive on-person alarm information and allow for the passenger self-resolution of those alarms to reduce instances where a pat-down or secondary screening procedure would be necessary’.

But perhaps, like most self-service, the primary aim is to cut costs by using less staff.

How it works

Passengers go to the TSA’s Innovation Checkpoint and follow step-by-step instructions on a video screen.

They put their stuff into buckets as normal and the bucket goes along the conveyor and into the bag scanner system.

Then the passenger goes into the body scanner.

Passengers can get help on a video screen [Image: TSA]

The scanner is all glass and the passenger is enclosed while the scan happens. A good point is that passengers have their arms almost by their side, not in a hands-up surrender posture.

If the scanner spots something it doesn’t like, it lets the passenger know and they get three attempts to fix it. Three strikes and out to the physical pat down.

Once passengers have completed the screening process and are cleared for travel, the glass doors open so they can gather their stuff and head to their flights.

TSA has a video showing how it works:

More prototypes

While LAS is the first trial of self-service screening, it’s not the only one.

The DHS awarded contracts to three companies to develop self-screening systems and the others will soon be lab tested.


This initiative is part of TSA and DHS S&T’s broader strategy to enhance self-sufficient passenger experiences and address the increasing demand for efficient transportation security solutions.

During the trial period, TSA will gather a considerable amount of passenger feedback and data, which will help to refine this and other systems in the future.

David Pekoske, TSA Administrator:

“We are constantly looking at innovative ways to enhance the passenger experience, while also improving security, This self-service prototype allows our trusted travelers to complete the screening process at their own pace.

“Testing at the Innovation Checkpoint in Las Vegas gives us an opportunity to collect valuable user data and insights, and explore opportunities to apply parts of the prototype to other airport security checkpoints. ”  

Internet links

Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)


TSA PreCheck