Measures of effectiveness for passenger-baggage security screening

Kelly Leone, Rongfan Rachel Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


One of the most challenging of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 is to meet the goal of performing explosive detection system (EDS) screening on 100% of checked baggage by the end of calendar year 2002. Accomplishing this goal within the imposed deadline and within the typically tight space constraints of airport terminals will require significant changes in the way airlines and airports manage passengers and their baggage. One of the up-front keys to integrating 100% checked-baggage screening into airports is to identify realistic throughput rates of various EDS machines available to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) planners. Some of the issues associated with the implementation of EDS equipment are discussed, and an analysis is performed on the throughput of the equipment, using modeling and discrete event-simulation tools. One conclusion of the analysis is that a significant difference exists between the scan rate and the effective throughput rate for the InVision CTX5500, one of the tested EDS machines. This finding is extremely important for TSA planners, who are determining the number of EDS machines to buy and deploy at all 429 U.S. commercial airports. The deployments are based on passenger demand at peak hours of the day. Matching this relatively high-volume operation against the slow processing rate of a standalone EDS will generate large passenger queues unless multiple machines are installed to provide an acceptable level of customer (passenger) service. As a result, the effective throughput rate, not the machine scan rate, should be used in determining the number of EDS machines to install at a particular airport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1822
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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