With summer air travel expected to hit a new record between June 1 and August 31 this year, travelers should expect to see longer lines at security checkpoints.

To address these challenges, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is hiring an additional 2,000 employees and employing new technologies like automated screening lanes and computed tomography

360-degree Security View

As these changes move forward, implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies can also help reduce wait times and increase the effectiveness of security screening.

In fact, experts suggest that AI and big data analytics can move the screening process from the current single point in time analysis to a 360-degree view of a person’s behavior over a broader time range by linking data sets to identify risky behavior even before a potential bad actor gets to the airport.

This thinking is in line with the recommendations from the White House’s 2018 National Strategy for Aviation Security (NSAS).  NSAS highlighted the importance of strengthening aviation domain awareness through integration of open-source data into existing air surveillance and law enforcement intelligence, collection and analysis of advanced and anticipatory information, and layered and risk-based security measures.

The International Air Transport Association is also working on a program to facilitate the exchange of critical security data.  According to the Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac, “This is similar to the way that our safety colleagues work with data to do predictive risk analysis. This tool will provide early detection of changes to security environments in different parts of the world, so we can effectively deal with emerging threats and the impacts of changes to security procedures.”

The Role of AI

AI-driven technologies, like Lumina’s Radiance platform are another facet to the solutions being implemented in the U.S. and globally.

Radiance has the ability to comprehensively mine unstructured data sources, whether across the open web, or among disparate, legacy data systems. It ingests, integrates and analyzes those data sets, searching against more than 6,500 terms related to aviation security.

The platform conducts nearly 135,000 searches across all publicly-available data on the web, correlating names with these associated risk behaviors and cross-referencing over 1 million queries into Lumina’s proprietary databases of risk. 

Then add to this open source search internal data sets such as passenger bookings and travel history – or in the case of insider-threats, employee-related data – and airline and airport security experts have an important tool to help predict and prevent threats.

Looking ahead

To be sure, integrating AI-driven technologies like Radiance are not a thing of the far of future. Research shows that 66 percent of airlines and 79 percent of airports plan to implement these capabilities across a wide variety of use cases by 2021. In fact, AI in aviation was valued at $152 million in 2018 and expected to increase to $2.2 billion by 2025.  And, passengers are ready for these technologies to help expedite their time at  airport security and make their travel more seamless. An online poll of UK passengers found that 68 percent of respondents would welcome AI at airports, and another study found 65 percent would share additional personal information to speed up processing at the airport.

Learn more about Radiance’s capabilities for the airline industry here.