Addressing that issue "is going to cost time and money," Southwell said. He said Transportation Security Administration head Peter Neffenger sent 30 officials to Atlanta two weeks ago, as they look to technology to improve security.
Meanwhile, Southwell said the rapid growth of passenger counts at Hartsfield-Jackson -- with a 14 percent increase in passengers traveling to and from Atlanta -- is driving the longer wait times many passengers have experienced at TSA checkpoints.
"It's been a major concern," Southwell said. "This is something that should have been fixed two years ago." He said additional employees are being trained, the number of canine units is doubling and the airport will be testing new technology.