TSA installs new 3D checkpoint scanners at Albany and Boise Airports

Posted: 22 September 2020 | | No comments yet

The new state-of-the-art 3D scanners improve TSA’s explosives detection capabilities at the two airports’ security checkpoints.

TSA installs new 3D checkpoint scanners at Albany and Boise Airports

Credit: Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

New state-of-the-art advanced technology computed tomography (CT) checkpoint scanners that provide 3D imaging have been installed and are in use at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints at Albany International Airport (ALB) and Boise Airport (BOI). 

The new technology provides critical explosives detection capabilities at the checkpoints and improves the capability for TSA officers to determine whether an item inside a carry-on bag is a possible threat.

The CT scanner applies a sophisticated algorithm during the screening process while an X-ray camera shoots hundreds of images while spinning around the conveyor belt, generating a 3D image of the item being screened. A TSA officer is then able to rotate the X-ray image on-screen for a thorough visual analysis. This additional capability makes it easier to detect shapes and densities of items, including bulk and liquid explosives, which are the greatest threat to commercial aviation. If a bag requires further screening, TSA officers will inspect it to ensure that a threat item is not contained inside. 

TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York, Bart R. Johnson, said: “The 3D imagery is so good that our TSA officers can manipulate the image on screen to get a better view of a bag’s contents and often clear items without having to open a carry-on bag. Not only does this state-of-the-art technology represent an improved security threat detection capability at the checkpoint, but it also reduces the need for pulling aside a bag to be opened, thus reducing a touchpoint during the pandemic.”

Andy Coose, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Idaho, said: “Because the CT unit provides improved security threat detection capabilities, the TSA officer is able to get a better view of the contents of the bag. This will result in fewer bag checks and reduced contact with travellers’ belongings. During the coronavirus pandemic, the reduction of potential touchpoints is good news for travellers and TSA employees alike.”

This equipment is similar to what is used to scan checked baggage for explosive devices, and has been re-sized to fit at security checkpoints. Checkpoint CT technology should result in fewer bag checks, and passengers using these machines will be permitted to leave laptops and other electronic devices in their carry-on bags.

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