DFW AIRPORT (WFAA) — The Transportation Security Administration will pay $15,000 to those who can come up with a way to make security lines move more efficiently.
It quietly posted an advertisement online hoping someone somewhere has an idea it can incorporate at airports nationwide.
"InnoCentive is for unique, defined challenges with a guaranteed cash reward for the successful solution," the TSA said in a statement to News 8. "As such, the current challenge is a targeted request for inventive ideas that allows the agency to crowd source by engaging diverse and non-traditional groups of thinkers and solvers. This is becoming a widely accepted practice in federal government, as most successfully demonstrated and embraced by NASA, and is in line with the Administration's Strategy for American Innovation."
It's a first for the TSA to help reduce the common complaint.
"I hate it.," said Cora Marsaw, a traveler at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. "I hate it. I want them to stop taking my shoes off."
Security lines at any airport are unpredictable.
"We've been here 20 minutes and already we've seen it fill up to capacity once and it went right back down again," said Homer Alexander as he sat with his wife outside security in Terminal E.
The TSA has several goals. It wants the pre-check lines to last five minutes or less and all the regular lanes to be no more than 10 minutes.
"You could probably break it down a little more," explained Lisa Barringer, a traveler at D/FW. "Because if you can break a process down into more pieces it tends to go a little more efficiently."
The TSA deadline is two weeks away and almost 4,000 people have signed up to see what it's all about it.
"You know what?" Marsaw said. "I fly a lot, but I don't know if there's a better way. I would hope they continue to work on it, though."
But, what if people aren't ready and don't have documents out when they get to the security screener?
Alexander said solving that will be impossible.
"As long as they're going to check everything they're going to check, I don't believe there is," he said.
There are a lot of technical requirements to the TSA's contest, but it plans to pick a winner mid-September.