The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has installed two new pieces of hi-tech checkpoint screening equipment at TF Green International Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island.
The new scanner uses computed tomography (CT) to enhance threat detection capabilities for carry-on baggage. It is similar to the CT equipment used in hospitals and, according to the TSA, it is the most consequential technology available today for airport checkpoints.
The CT technology applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives and other threats by creating a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated by 360° on a monitor for analysis by a TSA officer. The ability to manipulate the image on-screen and get a clearer view of a bag’s contents means that officers can often inspect items without having to open them, thus potentially removing a touchpoint. If the bag requires additional screening, however, a TSA officer will manually inspect it to ensure that there are no prohibited items inside.
“This new piece of technology streamlines the checkpoint screening process, while adding efficiency, convenience and enhanced security,” said Daniel Burche, TSA’s federal security director for Rhode Island. “With the addition of this new security technology, only items that trigger an alarm will need additional inspection by our TSA officers.”
Prior to the deployment of the CT devices, TSA officers had been opening all items of concern and swabbing them for traces of explosives, before allowing the carry-ons to be cleared and loaded onto aircraft.
Travellers flying out of TF Green will proceed through the security checkpoint as normal, placing all carry-on items onto the belt for introduction into the CT machine. As far as the passenger is concerned, the process is no different to the X-ray process currently used in checkpoint screening.