The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced plans to expand testing of a new carry-on bag screening technology that it says could detect the kinds of materials that caused it to issue a ban on liquids and powders earlier this year.
On Monday, the TSA said it plans to have up to 40 units in place at 15 U.S. airports by the end of this year, with plans for another 100 or so more by the end of the government’s fiscal year 2019. The new checkpoint technology is expected to result in fewer bag checks. In the future, the agency said, “passengers may also be able to leave laptops and liquids in their carry-on bags.”
The computed tomography scanners (CT) utilize 3-D technology similar to the kind doctors use to view and rotate images of the human body.
“TSA is committed in getting the best technology to enhance security and improve the screening experience. Use of CT technology substantially improves TSA’s threat detection capability at the checkpoint,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “By leveraging strong partnerships with industry, we are able to deploy new technology quickly and see an immediate improvement in security effectiveness.”
“As the agency continues to raise the baseline for aviation security, the new technology intends to enhance critical explosives and other threat items detection capabilities at airport checkpoints,” the TSA said in a statement.
CT technology testing started in 2017 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Boston's Logan International Airport, with John F. Kennedy International Airport receiving the third such machine. Abroad, London's Heathrow International Airport is among several international airports testing the 3D technology.
The TSA said that over the next few months, the following U.S. airports will receive scanners: Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Houston Hobby Airport, Indianapolis International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, Oakland International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, San Diego International Airport, St. Louis Lambert International Airport, and Washington-Dulles International Airport.