Optimizing Airport Security
New research: Adrian J. Lee and Sheldon H. Jacobson (2011), “The Impact of Aviation Checkpoint Queues on Optimizing Security Screening Effectiveness,” Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 96 (August): 900–911.
Abstract: Passenger screening at aviation security checkpoints is a critical component in protecting airports and aircraft from terrorist threats. Recent developments in screening device technology have increased the ability to detect these threats; however, the average amount of time it takes to screen a passenger still remains a concern. This paper models the queueing process for a multi-level airport checkpoint security system, where multiple security classes are formed through subsets of specialized screening devices. An optimal static assignment policy is obtained which minimizes the steady-state expected amount of time a passenger spends in the securitysystem. Then, an optimal dynamic assignment policy is obtained through a transient analysis that balances the expected number of true alarms with the expected amount of time a passenger spends in the security system. Performance of a two-class system is compared to that of a selective security system containing primary and secondary levels of screening. The key contribution is that the resulting optimal assignment policies increase security and passenger throughput by efficiently and effectively utilizing available screening resources.