CVG and Purdue partner to measure benefits of TSA pre-check

March 27, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A study at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) has found that new Pre-Check procedures may shave more than 11 minutes off a passenger's security screening.

The study results come as the Transportation Security Administration announced this week that it has enrolled more than 1 million people in its Pre-Check program.   

The wait times experienced during security screening at the airports is one of the key elements of passenger satisfaction. Purdue University has partnered with CVG to compare the standard and expedited wait time for airline passengers. 

"Airports and the TSA invest considerable resources to provide a safe and efficient transportation experience," said Sarah Hubbard, an assistant professor in Purdue's College of Technology who led the study. "Our goal was to provide a quantitative assessment on the impact of new checkpoint initiatives to CVG management."

During the study period of November and December 2014, nearly 55 percent of the 400,000 passengers utilized expedited service. The number of passengers ranged from a low of 4,000 on Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving Day) to a maximum of 10,000 passengers per day on Nov. 30 (the Sunday after Thanksgiving).

On average for the 61 days studied between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m., the median wait time for expedited service was 2.4 minutes whereas the median wait time for standard service was approximately 8.9 minutes, resulting in a savings of nearly 6.5 minutes for expedited service. The expedited screening led to more than 26,000 person-hour savings in wait time in the two-month study.

"We first partnered with CVG in 2011 when they were preparing for their terminal reconfiguration. This was a great opportunity to go back and measure the impact of both the changes in terminal reconfiguration and Pre-Check," said Darcy Bullock, a professor of civil engineering

A comparison between 2011 and 2014 wait time also was conducted. For standard screening, the median wait time of 13 minutes in 2011 was reduced nearly 4 minutes, to approximately 9 minutes in 2014. Although expedited screening was not available in 2011, the wait time for expedited screening in 2014 was over 11 minutes faster than standard screening in 2011.

"Over the last four years CVG has made significant investments in reconfiguring our security check point and partnering with TSA to improve the travel experience of our passengers," said Brian Cobb, vice president for customer service at CVG. "This study was important to us so we could demonstrate to our leadership the impact those investments and partnerships have had." 

Media Contact: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, venere@purdue.edu 

Sources: Sarah Hubbard, 765 494-0171, sarahh@purdue.edu

Darcy Bullock, 765 494-2204, darcy@purdue.edu

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