TSA Is Testing New Screening Technology That Could Let You Leave Everything in Your Bag

Removing liquids and laptops from your carry-on could be a thing of the past.

TSA Is Testing New Screening Technology That Could Let You Leave Everything in Your Bag

The new machines use 3-D technology, making it easier to scan items within carry-ons.

Courtesy of American Airlines

Just last month, the TSA announced new regulations on how much powder you can bring in your carry-on, adding yet another headache to the airport security process. But this week there’s actually some good news from the Transportation Security Administration.

In partnership with American Airlines, the TSA announced that it is introducing new technology at airport security checkpoints that will be able to scan bags via 3-D technology, possibly eliminating the need for passengers to remove liquids, gels, aerosols, and laptops from their bags in the future.

These new computed tomography (CT) scanners were recently introduced at TSA checkpoints at American Airlines’s Terminal 8 at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.


A new computed tomography scanner at JFK Airport

Courtesy of American Airlines

Most current airport security checkpoints use 2-D X-ray technology, but these CT scanners will use 3-D technology, allowing TSA agents to rotate images of each bag 360 degrees, making it easier to spot explosive devices and potentially making it unnecessary for travelers to remove items from their bags in non-TSA Precheck lines in the future.
However, that future won’t be next month or even next year as the technology needs to be tested further.

“We think in perhaps five years or so, the passengers won’t have to take anything out of their carry-on bags,” TSA administrator David Pekoske told CBS News.

In addition to JFK, TSA checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor Internationl Airport and Boston’s Logan International Airport are also testing the CT scanners currently. By the end of 2018, the TSA plans on having 15 of these new scanners in airports across the United States and is authorized to buy up to 240 more in 2019.

>> Next: TSA Implements New Carry-On Rules for Powders

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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