In the near future, airline passengers may be screened for weapons without having to stop walking or remove their coats and shoes.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is pushing for private contractors to create a screening machine with “screen and walk” capability for use at the nation’s 160 international airports and thousands of federal facilities.
The agency recently requested information from high-tech companies and other private firms about any new technology that can help speed up the security checkpoints managed by the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Protective Services.
The Department of Homeland Security asked for technology that can screen a minimum of 250 people per hour, which is slightly faster than the current pace of about 200 per hour for the full-body scanners. The new technology would not replace but would add to the screening technology now used at airports.
“The system will detect an explosive or assembled IED (improvised explosive device) with and without divestiture of outer garments, shoes and through clutter depending on the deployment,” according to the government request. “In addition, detection should occur through a minimum of 2 layers of clothing concealment where those layers are composed of cotton, cotton-polyester, wool, silk and leather materials among others.”
The federal agency asked for responses by March 11.
Take some time off, help the economy?
Help the economy by taking more time away from work.
That is the message from the U.S. Travel Association, the nation’s trade organization for the travel industry. A study commissioned by the group found that more than 40 percent of U.S. workers who receive paid time off finish the year without using all of their allotted vacation time.
Workers who are given paid time off had an average 3.2 days of unused vacation time in 2013, according to the study by research firm Oxford Economics.
The study concluded that if Americans spent all of their allotted vacation time, the economy would gain an additional $160 billion in vacation spending and $21 billion in tax revenue, supporting 1.2 million jobs.
“Underutilized time off is a monstrous missed opportunity, not only for American workers and their families, but also for employers and the broader economy,” said Roger Dow, president and chief executive of the Travel Association.