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The “Innovation Checkpoint” Sounds Dystopian, but Is It an Easier Way to Fly?

The “Innovation Checkpoint” Sounds Dystopian, but Is It an Easier Way to Fly?
Jackie Reddy

If you’re traveling through Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport soon, you’ll be greeted by a new screening technology called Innovation Checkpoint; the screening system is designed to make it easier to get information about wait times, get through flight screening, use the body scanners, and scan your bags.

United Airlines passengers heading through Las Vegas McCarran International Airport will get to use a brand new style of security screening. It’s called the Innovation Checkpoint and it is designed to make a number of steps easier on both Transportation Security Administration officers and passengers.

“The Innovation Checkpoint at McCarran International Airport is an exciting initiative that provides the TSA with the unique opportunity to demonstrate multiple solutions and capabilities by various vendors in one physical environment without interrupting current airport operations,” Austin Gould, TSA Assistant Administrator for Requirements and Capabilities Analysis, said in a release. “Our long-term vision is that this checkpoint will serve as an innovative sandbox for the entire agency to demonstrate new strategies and solutions that will ultimately increase security effectiveness, heighten the passenger experience, and deliver enhanced capabilities to our frontline personnel.”

Here’s what’s different. First, there are no printed signs. Everything is digital, allowing real-time information like wait times in security and any changes to the screening process. Next, a machine scans your ID, which matches you up to a flight database to confirm you should be flying—meaning you don’t need to show your boarding pass anymore. Then your baggage goes through a CT scanner rather than an x-ray machine, which gives bag checkers a more thorough (and 3D) view of what’s inside.

The body scanners have changed, too. Now, they’re open, can fit wheelchairs, and you don’t need to put your hands over your head—they can stay at your side.

View Comments (3)


  1. Dublin_rfk

    September 16, 2019 at 3:34 am

    This sounds really nice. Now we can have a modern high tech ‘Kabuki Theatre’ that works on the same principles as the current one.

  2. emvchip

    September 18, 2019 at 4:37 am

    Frankfurt has had the scanners for a while. Nice to see LAS try to catch up to the cool kids. Still not a fan of getting zapped by EMF radiation as a condition to travel, but the well known medical experts in the airport security point keep saying that everything is “safe.”

  3. KayVeeBee

    September 19, 2019 at 10:15 am

    So basically a complicated (and probably solution to a problem we could simply choose not to have…

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