The Houston Airport System and TSA Open New Automated Screening Lanes at the City’s Largest Airport

New checkpoint lanes designed with passenger security and convenience in mind

Feb. 15, 2018

HOUSTON — On Feb. 15, 2018, Houston Airport System Director Mario Diaz joined Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Deputy Administrator Dr. Huban A. Gowadia in a ceremony announcing new checkpoint technology at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The automated screening lanes incorporate enhanced capabilities at the airport security checkpoint while improving the passenger experience.

Passengers departing from IAH can expect to see four automated screening lanes at the TSA security checkpoint in Terminal D.

“We have invested in a design that helps to make us safer while helping to move passengers through the security line more seamlessly,” Diaz said. “Our partnership with TSA is a perfect example of how collaboration between aviation partners benefits and protects passengers,”

“TSA is deploying state-of-the-art technologies to ensure that we continue to focus on protecting passengers who travel out of George Bush Intercontinental Airport,” Dr. Gowadia said. “These lanes enhance overall security effectiveness by using technology to better track passenger property throughout the screening process. They also increase both operational efficiency and the passenger experience by automating some of the functions that were previously done manually.”

The automated screening lanes are designed to enhance the security process, and passengers will immediately notice the following:

  • Passengers now have their own area to divest personal items for placement in bins, which allows them to move at their own pace.
  • Conveyor belts automatically return bins to the front of the divesting area for passengers, which allows TSA officers to remain focused on detecting threats rather than moving bins to the front of the queue.
  • A second conveyor belt automatically separates items that pass inspection from those that require a secondary check.

These features also will help increase flow of passengers through the security checkpoint. 

The cost of the security lane system, designed and manufactured by Scarabee Inc., is $3.9 million. While there are more than 100 automated screening lanes operating across the nation, this is the first of its kind deployed in the U.S.

In the coming months, TSA, the Houston Airport System and its aviation partners are planning to install more automated screening lanes in other terminals at IAH.

About Houston Airport System

Houston Airports served more than 54.1 million passengers in 2017. Houston's three airports — George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) — contribute more than $27.5 billion to the regional economy. IAH and HOU collectively provide nonstop flights to nearly 200 destinations worldwide. For more information, visit Get social with Houston Airports by following us on Twitter @IAH and @HobbyAirport.

About TSA

The Transportation Security Administration was created to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce. TSA uses a risk-based strategy and works closely with transportation, law enforcement and intelligence communities to set the standard for excellence in transportation security. For more information about TSA, please visit our website at