Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has installed three automated screening lanes (ASL) in partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which are now in use at security checkpoint 5.

The US airport, operated by the Port of Seattle, installed the ASLs as part of a $17m programme which aims to enhance security efficiency and reduce time spent in the screening process.

Located at checkpoint 5, at the north end of the terminal, the three lanes will screen passengers’ carry-on bags.

“TSA officers can spend more time looking for threats and less time on the manual labour of moving bins around the security checkpoint.”

TSA Washington state federal security director Jeff Holmgren said: “TSA officers can spend more time looking for threats and less time on the manual labour of moving bins around the security checkpoint.

“We will continue to work with the Port of Seattle to identify innovations that improve aviation security.”

The automated screening lanes feature stainless steel countertops that allow a number of passengers to place their items in bins simultaneously.

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They are also equipped with automated conveyor belts that move bins into the X-ray machine tunnel and return them to the front of the security checkpoint.

The lanes automatically divert any carry-on bag with a prohibited item to a separate location which allows other bins containing items of other travellers to continue through the screening process without any issue.

Fitted with Unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags attached to each bin, the lanes offer additional accountability of a traveller’s carry-on property as they move throughout the security screening process.

Sea-Tac Airport managing director Lance Lyttle said: “This investment by the Port of Seattle is about improving the customer experience, security and efficiency – all goals to serve our travellers better.

“As one of the fastest growing airports in the nation, we appreciate the partnership with the TSA to find innovative ways to make the experience better for our travellers.”