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OCR for page 49
Testing and Evaluating Potential Solutions 49 Next generation three-dimensional scanned images are far superior for identifying items of interest in baggage for border and agricultural purposes compared to current technologies. Vegetable/fruit products were easy to detect, and in some instances the test team identified the threat because of the density of the vegetable product involved. If a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) volatile product has a bone or calcified structure, it would likely be detected on either technology or equipment. Time for each image reviewed was about 36 seconds; note that the CBP staff person did not have specific EDS equipment training for this test, so this process rate could be improved significantly with training and experience. Overall, the test was positive in demonstrating a small-scale application of existing EDS tech- nologies, tailored toward an individual trained in CBP/agricultural products detection. Quali- tative feedback indicated the images were useful in achieving CBP's mission. Note that EDS machines are not geared specifically for CBP purposes. However, the low false acceptance rate and false rejection rate were seen as overall positive indicators of the potential for useful infor- mation sharing between TSA and CBP. Discussion with EDS manufacturers indicated increasing future potential for automated detec- tion and improved algorithms to enable EDS units to perform one scan for multiple agencies/ threat detection parameters. Test 3: Expansion of International-to-International Recheck Reduction Process The study team has a significant concern about the limitations of baggage recheck elimina- tion for medium-sized international hubs. Even with IAH, DFW, and other larger airports having economies of scale, there were questions throughout the study about the viability of international- to-international processes. One air carrier provided the feedback early in the project that some sites (e.g., SFO) would have difficulty sustaining process changes. Unfortunately, without evaluat- ing each site and carrier on a case-by-case basis, it is difficult to establish a specific threshold for which a DFW-type international-to-international process could be suitable. The inconsistency across airports/carriers is due to the multiple factors that would have to be considered, including peak-hour connecting traffic, existing processes and infrastructure, and prominence of connecting traffic to airport success. To test this, SEA participated in a feasibility assessment to review the potential to reduce bag- gage recheck using a similar process. Historically, 25.5 percent of international arrivals at SEA are connecting passengers. Based on Bureau of Transportation Statistics data, it is estimated that of these connections, 16.8 percent are international, while 83.2 percent are domestic. This represents the third-highest percentage for international-to-international connections in the United States, behind MIA (22.7 percent) and Newark (EWR) (17.8 percent). The bulk of these international connections are transborder flights to Canadian airports. Methodology A select number of international-to-domestic flights was studied on a Monday in May 2011 at SEA for flights arriving at the South Satellite terminal. Actual live data and observations were made, working with operational baggage handling staff. The timing for each step was evaluated against flight schedules, published airport border wait times, and other data to determine whether improved international-to-international bag con- nections could be feasible in terms of timing.