As travel picks up for spring break, the Transportation Security Administration, TSA, has added new technology at Spokane International Airport to reduce contact between agents and travelers.
TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said the new technology would make going through security more efficient, and reduce risk for both parties.
“There’s no contact between traveler and TSA officer, and we know that fewer touchpoints is safer and healthier for the traveler, and safer and healthier for our employees,” she said.
The new technology includes a device that will create a 3D image of the contents of a carry-on bag that a TSA agent can review on a screen. Dankers said that means that TSA will no longer need to search those bags by hand.
Spokane International now also has a device that verifies photo identification. A passenger will insert or scan their photo ID instead of handing it and a boarding pass to a TSA agent.
Dankers said the technology was going to be added anyway to most airports, but the upgrades were accelerated during the pandemic, to reduce close contact between the TSA and passengers.
Other ways travel is different than before is the federal mask requirement. People who refuse to wear masks will not be able to go through security.
“We are seeing a very high rate of voluntary compliance with that federal facemask requirement,” she said. “That’s really good, it’s good for the traveler, and it's good for our workforce.”
She said people are also now allowed to bring up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer with them while traveling. She said anyone planning a trip should looking online for any additional TSA guidance as the agency adapts to the pandemic.