TSA will deploy new computer tomography systems to analyze carry-on items starting this summer
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced last Friday that the agency recently acquired new full-size Computed Tomography (CT) x-ray systems to analyze carry-on items. The new scanners will be installed at the TSA checkpoints across airports in the United States during summer 2022.
The American government agency awarded a $781.2 million contract to Analogic Corporation—an American company that specializes in health care and security technology— for the advanced equipment and the maintenance of the new high-tech scanners. The company will deliver and deploy the powerful equipment, designed with a futuristic aesthetic, within the next few months.
“These awards are another important step in enhancing aviation security,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske, and added: “They provide our dedicated frontline officers with one of the best tools available to screen passenger carry-on items and also improves the passenger experience by allowing passengers to keep more items in their carry-on bags during the screening process.”
According to the information shared, the new powerful CT systems will help accelerate wait times. Great news for travelers in the US, considering that covid restrictions and the new security measures implemented during the pandemic have been slowing down TSA’s process.
About the New Powerful Scanners
During this year’s summer season, travelers in the United States will be able to see the new technology at the TSA checkpoints. The advanced computer tomography system can detect weapons, explosives, and other items banned for travel.
The new scanners include sophisticated algorithms that recreate 3D images of the items recognized inside the carry-on bags. They will allow TSA officers to view, rotate and analyze the images on three axes. That way authorities can identify dangerous items. This is why passengers won’t have to take out many items from their bags.
The technology recently hired is similar to the one used to scan checked bags, in an innovative size, easier to deploy at checkpoints, and with an optimized algorithm. Full-sized CT scanners include screening lanes with divestiture stations, automated bin return, and high threat containment. The agency expects to receive 469 base and 469 full-size systems soon.
In August 2021, TSA already invested $198 million in Analogic Corporation equipment and service for 300 mid-size Checkpoint Property Screening Systems (CPSS), with the same technology to improve security in a touch-free environment. These are already being installed at U.S. airports.
U.S. citizens traveling within the next few weeks might be able to see the new modern spaceship-like scanners at TSA checkpoints.
TSA’s Recent Measures On Travel Experience
On April 18, TSA will lift the mask mandate on airports and passengers will be able to travel without face coverings. The mandate has been extended, but many remain optimistic about the new date. American Airlines even considered the same date to sell alcohol during flights again, considering that the mask mandate was one of the reasons some passengers broke the rules.
The new scanners will accelerate TSA’s regular security check process at airports. However, US citizens and permanent residents can already speed up this procedure by registering and paying for TSA Precheck, a membership that provides benefits for American travelers.
With a TSA Precheck registration travelers do not have to remove shoes, belts, or light jackets, they will get an expedited screening process, and are also allowed to leave laptops and approved liquids inside carry-on bags. Passengers registered for TSA Precheck must bear in mind that TSA recently warned travelers that unruly passengers could lose this privilege.
TSA has also recently expanded to international destinations. The agency opened a location in the Bahamas at the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau. US travelers coming from the Bahamas to the US can use their TSA PreCheck membership to avoid long lines and get home faster.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories