Airport security could be made easier with new carry-on baggage scanning


The days of being forced to remove laptops and liquids from carry-on luggage at airport security checkpoints may be coming to an end.

The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that it is spending $781.2 million on hundreds of scanners that use hospital-deployed internal organ technology to scan carry-on bags faster and more thoroughly for weapons and explosives. This means you can leave your laptops, liquids and other gadgets in your carry-on before they go through the screener, speeding up the screening process.

TSA hopes to install 938 scanners using computed tomography technology at most major US airports over the next few years. The first 38 scanners will be installed later this summer, just in time for the busy travel season.

The scanners “provide our dedicated frontline officers with one of the best tools available for screening passenger carry-on bags and also improve the passenger experience by allowing passengers to keep more items in their carry-on bags during the screening process,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement.

Analogic Corp., a Massachusetts-based technology company, was awarded the $781.2 million contract.

The X-ray scanners currently used at most airport security checkpoints can only produce a two-dimensional image of the contents of each carry-on bag, making it difficult to distinguish the items inside, especially when the bags are stuffed with electronics and other equipment.

The new CT scanners allow TSA officers to see a 3-D image of the items in a carry-on bag. The images produced by the scanners can be rotated around three axes, making it easier for officers to identify weapons and explosives.

“That’s the beauty of computed tomography,” said TSA spokesman R. Carter Langston.

Larger CT scanners have been used to scan checked baggage for several years, but until now have been too large to be used on TSA security lines.

TSA began testing CT scanners at airports across the country in 2018, including Los Angeles International Airport, Oakland International, San Diego International, Harry Reid International (formerly McCarran) in Nevada, and Chicago O’Hare. LAX now has six CT scanners deployed throughout the airport. Airport security could be made easier with new carry-on baggage scanning

Adam Bradshaw

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