ND025 - TSA and American Airlines test a new screening device for carry-on bags
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TSA and American Airlines test a new screening device for carry-on bags

There might be a new luggage-scanning technology on the way that heightens security and speeds up the screening lines. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and American Airlines began testing the use of more advanced scanners that could also allow travelers to keep at all times liquids and laptops in carry-on luggage. Currently, in standard checkpoint lanes, laptops have to be removed from the bags for separate screening.

A new CT scanner for better screening of carry-on bags

The computed tomography scanner, also known as a CT scanner, is not only able to look through your luggage for contraband and dangerous devices such as bombs and weapons, but it can also create a 3D view thus allowing security personnel to rotate the image to every possible angle.

For over a decade, the TSA has used these CT scanners to check bags. But nowadays, the machines are considered too big and clamorous to use in the terminal screening areas where carry-on bags are examined.

Based on this, the TSA and American Airlines began testing the use of smaller, more advanced CT scanners for carry-on luggage. The first test was done at a single checkpoint lane at Phoenix International Airport. It began on Thursday and will continue indefinitely, with further tests at other airports likely to follow.

"We already use this type of technology for checked baggage and we expect these smaller, checkpoint-sized machines will provide the same high level of security," TSA Acting Administrator Huban Gowadi said in his statement. Also, the scanners use enhanced algorithms to detect explosives, firearms, and other banned items. If the tests are successful, the scanner could allow travelers keep their liquids, gels, and laptops in carry-on bags, according to a Reuters report.  This would significantly reduce the screening time. However, if more scrutiny in required, the TSA officers will have the jurisdiction to open a bag for closer and more detailed observation of the suspicious item.

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