With budget cuts at the Transportation Safety Administration, one airport installed what some call "detention pods" to monitor passengers leaving the terminal.
They're actually called “exit portals,” and look similar to a revolving door with a robotic voice that gives instructions to wait inside until a green light is shown and the door opens.
Passengers then pass through without access to go back into the terminal.
This the answer Syracuse airport officials have come up with following the TSA's proposal to transfer exit lane access control responsibility to local airport authorities, reducing the agency’s budget request by $88.1 million for fiscal year 2014.
A TSA spokesman tells KTRH his agency has nothing to do with the portals, adding that Syracuse officials hired a private firm to install them.
Paul Hudson at FlyersRights.org sees several potential problems with the portals which briefly lock you in before you can exit.
“What happens when the automation breaks down and you have to get a human being to deal with?” asks Hudson who says the portals are typically used at banks in some foreign country.
The portals so far on not the radar at the Houston Airport System. Hudson agrees with that decision, believing more testing is needed.
“I would say they probably should experiment with it,” he says. “As far as imposing on the public without it being fully tested, I think that is a bad idea.”