Mitigating security risk in airports

Blank Slate
3 min readMar 14, 2024
Cutrer, J. (2023, February 8). Security at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). flickr.com.

In certain work environments, lapses in memory carry significant consequences. This is especially true in the realm of airport security. From screening procedures to emergency responses, the safety and security of an airport hinges on the expertise of its frontline workers.

And luckily for those of us who fly regularly, airports take their knowledge responsibility very seriously. A large hub airport in Florida recently conducted a targeted test to determine if Blank Slate could effectively support knowledge of operationally-critical information across their security team. We’re happy to report we passed.

Airport leadership first created Blank Slate content that covered topics such as proper screening of propane tanks, badge colors and icons that indicate different clearances, and the list of personnel who are exempt from security searches at the airport. Then, for three months, 65 badged security personnel at the airport used Blank Slate to review their protocols for a few minutes each week for three months.

Now for the fun part: their results.

First, these security personnel deserve a round of applause. They started off with a passing grade of 81% on their first attempt at answering their Blank Slate questions. Most of our clients don’t fare so well on their first try.

But there was definitely room for improvement. As you can see in the graph below, these security personnel were able to bring their average knowledge level up to 93% after three months of using Blank Slate.

Also note the gray line in the graph above: the average minutes that each employee spent using the app each week. See how the time burden went down over time, while knowledge levels continued to increase? As employees re-mastered their protocols and procedures, Blank Slate’s intelligent algorithm stopped asking them to engage as often with the content they knew well.

And while that pretty graph does a nice job of displaying average knowledge scores and time spent using the app, it’s always interesting to take a magnifying glass to the individual employees. The chart below showcases five employees who started with different knowledge levels but who all saw major improvements after using Blank Slate for three months.

Just as we’ve shown before with employees in building security, no matter how steep the learning curve, Blank Slate can help every member of a team regain total mastery of their workplace protocols. And we only need a few minutes of their time each week.

So… the next time you’re at the airport, would you rather have the security team from week 1 on the job or the security team from week 12?

That’s the power of Blank Slate.

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Amy Smith, PhD

Chief Scientist, Blank Slate Technologies

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Blank Slate

Blank Slate is a deeptech cognitive sciences firm dedicated to pushing the limits of the human brain.