Atlanta Teams With Associations on Airport Security Test Project

"Smart Security" is coming to ATL. The city of Atlanta announced a deal with Airports Council International and the International Air Transport Association to try the new security approach, making the city's airport the first to do so in the U.S.

The future of airport security is flying into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)—and it’s doing so with the help of a duo of associations.

Airports Council International (ACI) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced this week that they had signed an agreement with the city of Atlanta to start testing the associations’ new “Smart Security” approach for airport security checks.

The approach, which will involve direct collaboration with the Transportation Security Administration at the Atlanta airport, is already in use at airports in Europe, Canada, Australia, and the Middle East. Atlanta is the first U.S. airport to give the Smart Security approach a try.

Some of the goals for ATL are to improve the checkpoint environment, to implement passenger tracking and line management, and to test innovative security-lane configuration,.

“Participating in the program will allow us to obtain vital data that will further increase operational efficiency here in Atlanta and will provide guidance and direction for other airports across the country,” noted ATL’s interim general manager, Roosevelt Council Jr.

Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president of airports, passenger, cargo, and security, noted that the process is already being used throughout Europe, and tests in other parts of the world are “looking positive.”

“We are excited to see ATL assuming a leadership role in bringing these concepts to the United States,” Careen noted in a news release. “This partnership is an important step toward realizing a new global model of airport security that will improve the experience for passengers while boosting the efficiency of security checkpoints.”

While the new model is fresh to the United States and could help inform security elsewhere, it’s not the only security experiment taking place at ATL, the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic.

Earlier this year, the airport introduced an automated screening system, masterminded by Delta Airlines. The airline, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, invested $1 million in the system.

(YouTube screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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