NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - If you travel through the Charleston International Airport, you will notice new technology aimed at protecting passengers and Transportation Safety Administration agents during the coronavirus pandemic.
The first thing travelers will see at the TSA security checkpoint is a touchless, automated ID verification scanner. It will allow the passenger to put their ID into a machine instead of handing it to a TSA agent. It will then verify the passenger’s identity and they will not have to show a boarding pass. However, TSA agents will ask the flyer to remove their mask for a moment.
Next, passengers will get their bags checked in a new way. Everyone will be able to leave electronics and toiletries in their bag to limit the amount of bins passed around the security checkpoint. Instead of a typical x-ray, a new scanning system will allow TSA agents to get a 3D view of the bags. The goal is to increase what can be seen and cut down on the amount of additional screenings where TSA agents put hand-check a bag.
“This airport, as well as our airports around South Carolina and around the national are cleaner today than they were a year ago,” Federal security Director in South Carolina for the TSA David McMahon said. "So when we talk about passengers and what we want passengers to think about, is really recognize that it is safe to travel and as we approach the holiday season. We know people are going to want to get out there and travel and we encourage them to do that.”
In addition to agents wearing face coverings and gloves, acrylic shields were also added in the security checkpoint. The airport is also spraying an antimicrobial coating on high-touch surfaces like the bins. The coating is supposed to neutralize germs for 30 days.
McMahon said travel at the Charleston International Airport is down about 60% from its regular numbers. However, he said travel numbers are increasing and they expect more travel throughout the holiday season.