The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea (MOLIT), which authorizes the two countries to conduct a field demonstration of S&T-funded technology in civil aviation security.
This joint field demonstration will pilot the Common Viewer Air System, a cloud-based baggage pre-screening software system that will support the missions of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The signed letter of intent results from ongoing collaboration among TSA, CBP, and their South Korean counterparts to share information, identify risks, and enhance safeguards to improve international aviation security.
“With this pilot, security officers will be able to remotely screen checked baggage before arriving in the U.S. and landing at ATL. The goal is to maintain strong security while enhancing the passenger experience and providing another means of contactless screening,” explained David Taylor, S&T’s CBP Portfolio Manager.
“CBP is appreciative of the partnerships that allow us to pilot the feasibility of screening images of every checked bag on an arriving flight before it lands in the U.S., all while enhancing the traveler’s experience by reducing the number of times they may need to collect and re-check baggage for connecting flights,” said Donald. F. Yando, CBP Director of Field Operations in Atlanta.
“Through partnerships like this, we’re able to introduce innovative touchless technology that not only provides an additional layer of security, but also provides a safer, healthier, and more convenient process for international passengers,” said Gary Renfrow, Assistant Administrator for TSA International Operations.
“Through training, mentorship, assessments, and information sharing, DHS S&T is pleased and honored to support DHS components and our international partners in strengthening global transportation security in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond,” said Robert Burns, Executive Director of S&T’s Office of Innovation and Collaboration.
The field demonstration—or pilot program—facilitates alternative methods of TSA screening to be implemented at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Incheon International Airport (ICN) outside Seoul. Delta Air Lines, Inc. is participating in the program.
“Our objective is to continue to work toward recognizing each other’s countermeasures to improve efficiency and decrease redundancy. A mutual goal for TSA and MOLIT is to achieve our security missions while streamlining the passenger experience as much as possible,” said Mr. Jin-hwan Yoon, Acting Deputy Minister for Civil Aviation Office, MOLIT.
The joint pilot program will run in the summer of 2021.