USA Today ran an article yesterday about changes being made at Dallas’ Love Field airport to bring it closer to offering what the International Air Transport Association (IATA) calls “the checkpoint of the future.” The changes include the installation of 500 hi-def security cameras capable of tracking passenger movements from the parking garages to the gates and even onto the tarmac.
As part of the system, which is intended to allow passengers to move virtually non-stop from curb to gate, fliers would be identified by biometric measures (either iris or fingerprint scanning) and would pass through screening tunnels (a la the film “Total Recall”) where they’d undergo electronic scans capable of detecting metal objects, explosives, liquids and more.
The object of such a futuristic checkpoint is to be faster, less intrusive and easier to get through.
Now, I like the idea of getting through security faster. Taking off my shoes and taking my laptop out of its cover are annoying, especially when hundreds of people are doing the same.
According to the USA Today article, the FAA projects that the number of people flying in the U.S. will nearly double over the next 20 years to 1.2 billion. That’s a whole lotta time spent taking off shoes and belts, checking through pockets for change and finding out at the last minute that no, ma’am, you can’t bring that bottle of water through security with you.
16 Ways to Get Through the Airport Faster
Here’s another telling statistic from the article — before September 11, 2011, 350 people passed through checkpoints each hour. A November 2012 survey of 142 airports found that on average only 149 people now make it through each hour.
But the question is: How much am I willing to give up to get through security faster?
Do I really want hundreds of Big Brother-style cameras tracking my every step from the moment I get out of my car? Do I want my fingerprints or iris pattern in a computer record? I’m not really sure I do.
What do you think?
— written by Dori Saltzman