Baggage Security Upgrades Will Make Screenings Twice as Fast at Miami International Airport

The upgrade will bring machines twice as fast as the old ones.

New screening machines could soon mean a smoother ride for bags and travelers at Miami International Airport.

A $101 million dollar upgrade is slated for baggage equipment thanks in large part to a Transportation Security Administration grant.

"This really sets us apart as one of the world class airports with this kind of technology and capacity for screening," said Greg Chin, spokesman for Miami-Dade International Airport.

There will be 12 new machines that would do the work of 29 -- twice as fast as the old ones. Chin said TSA handlers won't have to unzip so many harmless bags that look suspicious. Eight other airports currently have the new technology that can screen as many as 9,600 bags per hour.

"They'll have a much easier time with getting their bags to their flight. It means quicker connection times and it's just a smoother process," Chin said.

That means good news for passengers.

"I think the faster you can make travel, the better," said Nicolas Corujo, just off a plane from Uruguay.

Plus, fewer bags will get lost on the new interconnected system. Chin also said the change will free up TSA workers.

"Instead of staff manually loading bags onto machines, they're able to do other duties which we're definitely in need of," he said.

Ninety percent of the project's funding comes from a TSA grant, the rest from Miami-Dade County's aviation department.

The project is slated to begin next fall and expected to take five years to complete.

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