TSA is expanding new scanning technology to hundreds of checkpoints, and it may mean less hassle for travelers

Thanks to the successful implementation of new scanning technology at a handful of airports across the country, travelers may soon be allowed to keep their laptops and liquids in their luggage at security screening checkpoints.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confirmed that new Computed Tomography (CT) systems, which utilize 3-D scanning technology, will be rolling out at 300 more checkpoints over the next few years, where it will “vastly enhance threat detection capabilities” during security screenings.

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“These state-of-the-art 3-D scanners will enable our screening officers to detect explosives and other threats to commercial aviation with unprecedented precision,” said TSA administrator David Pekoske in a news release.

The technology allows screeners to digitally rotate X-rayed images to get a better look at the contents of travelers’ luggage, USA Today reports. It was initially tested at two checkpoints in 2017 before rolling out to several additional airports in 2018. The newest systems will be deployed between summer 2019 and sometime in 2020, the TSA confirmed.

According to the agency's own website, the ultimate goal of the CT systems is to enhance threat-detection efforts, though it will also allow passengers to “keep laptops and 3-1-1 liquids inside of the bag during checkpoint screening.”

The TSA confirmed that new Computed Tomography (CT) systems, which utilize 3-D scanning technology, will be rolling out at 300 more checkpoints over the next few years.

The TSA confirmed that new Computed Tomography (CT) systems, which utilize 3-D scanning technology, will be rolling out at 300 more checkpoints over the next few years. (iStock)

The TSA awarded a $96.8 million contract for the 300 new CT systems to Smiths Detection, Inc., as well as “associated ancillary equipment and services over five years,” on Thursday.

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“This CT purchase supports the larger modernization efforts of the agency and would not be possible without the support of Congress, especially the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House Committee on Homeland Security, as well as our appropriations committees,” Pekoske added in the news release. “The nation’s transportation systems are now better off – more secure, as a result of their work on funding this technology.”