Staff at the Clark County Department of Aviation chose to put on display Thursday an automated exit from the Terminal 3 security area that has been in operation since June 2012.
They wanted to draw attention to the exit as part of a public image effort to allow this similar technology to be installed at McCarran International Airport’s Terminal 1. The Transportation Security Administration has decided to quit stationing its blue-shirted officers at concourse exits across the country, reducing its budget by about $88 million a year but passing the expense on to individual airports.
Despite the automated exit being in service for more than a year, the TSA only recently decided that it no longer needed to have an officer on hand to watch it. The exit includes two glass doors, a small chamber in between and a swinging arm. Anybody trying to go the wrong way is picked up by sensors, triggering a recorded warning while the doors won’t open.
Terminal 1 has five exit lanes from the concourses in Terminal 1. If TSA sticks to its current schedule of turning their responsibility over to the airport at the start of the year, it will involve some combination of closing lanes and putting in alternate officers. However, McCarran officials believe that the automated exits would be less expensive in the long run, although numbers are not currently available.