The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spent $18.6 million to develop, test, and deploy “non-binary screening systems” in January, according to a new report.
Funding from the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations fund has been used to develop and improve Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units at airport security checkpoints, reported FOX News.
Some of the improvements that the funding is being directed to update the technology’s algorithm for “increased accuracy and efficiency.”
However, individuals who go through the AIT and feel that their gender has been incorrectly assumed can now ask for a re-screening before they are submitted to a physical pat-down if needed.
According to TSA data, there are more than 26,542 screening complaints a year, 6% of which come from members of the LGBTQ community who believe their gender has not been appropriately identified.
TSA Executive Director for Travel Engagement Jose Bonilla said the new AIT technology will reduce the number of complaints and pat-downs from minority communities.
“This technology should really be gender-neutral, you know it really should be, and we’re there,” Bonilla said.
In February, the TSA updated its protocols at checkpoints by removing gender considerations when validating identification for flying at the travel document check podium before passing through airport security.
One month later, the TSA announced that it would implement gender-neutral screening at airports to accommodate transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming passengers at airport checkpoints.
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