New Handheld Screening Wands Could Reduce the Need for Airport Pat Downs

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Transportation Security Administration
Transportation Security Administration

August 11, 2021 | Originally published by Department of Homeland Security on July 22, 2021

We’ve all walked through a metal detector at the airport, hoping we didn’t forget anything in our pockets that will set off the alarm. When security personnel can’t immediately identify what is triggering the alarm, the process is halted for a pat down. Though this slows the screening process significantly for people waiting in line and can be an uncomfortable experience for the individual being screened, it is an essential element of keeping all travelers safe.

A handheld screening wand detects and identifies concealed objects under air travelers’ clothes. To improve airport security, both for screeners and for those being screened, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) continually invests in research and development (R&D) to build solutions for the future. S&T’s Screening at Speed Program partners with government, academia, and industry to increase security effectiveness at the airport from curb to gate, while dramatically reducing screening wait times and improving the passenger experience.

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