Improving airport checkpoints

Improving airport checkpoints
Operations Research and Systems Analysis

Overview

Dynamic resource allocation for predicted demands at a network of screening facilities

U.S. airports currently handle over 900 million air passenger per year. When the average passenger wait time at a checkpoint increases, frustrations and tensions rise with both passengers and TSA security screeners. Increasing the efficiency of screening points will improve both airport customer satisfaction and TSA performance.

Solution

Taking a fresh look at the airport screening process by observing and researching the current operations, the research team is developing a decision support tool to simulate and visualize TSA checkpoint operations at high volume airports with dynamic passenger demands.

This project will help improve the following processes:

  • Predicting passenger demand at different checkpoints.
  • Promoting faster flow of passenger traffic by determining how a checkpoint’s layout (queues and inspection lanes) can be reconfigured for greater efficiency.
  • Recommending the number of non-Pre-Check inspection lanes that should be open at a given time in addition to the mandatory Pre-Check lanes.
  • Determining how many Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) should be deployed at different checkpoint at different points in time in line with the required number of TSOs staffed.
  • Evaluating how to better construct TSO work schedules and assignments for better performance and employee satisfaction.

Impact

Innovating airport checkpoints

Working with TSA to develop more efficient processes will decrease average checkpoint wait time and increase TSOs performance and work satisfaction. Implementation of the tools will improve overall customer service without compromising security.

Research Leadership Team

Principal Investigator: Kelvin Cheu, University of Texas, El Paso
Co-PI: Ronald Askin, Arizona State University