US TSA plans to expand the use of computed tomography scanners at airport security checkpoints
10 August 2018
The US TSA plans to expand the use of computed tomography scanners at airport security checkpoints, including adding one at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), CA, in the next few months. The TSA has been suggesting the use of so-called CT scanners to more easily identify explosives and weapons hidden in carry-on bags and to speed up the screening process. CT scanners have long been used in hospitals for medical imaging and are now used to screen checked luggage in the nation's airports. But they have only recently been tested to screen carry-on bags because the units are now small enough to fit in airport checkpoints. The security agency plans to add units in 15 airports in the next few months, and a total of 40 CT scanners by the end of 2018, increasing to 145 units by the end of FY 2019. The scanners will be paid for by a USD 71 million fund added by the Trump administration to the FY 2019 budget. The CT scanner can create 3-D images of the contents of a bag, allowing TSA officers to rotate the images to better analyze the contents. In the future, the CT scanner may allow passengers to leave laptops and liquids inside of their carry-on bags, TSA officials say. An algorithm used by the scanner also alerts TSA officers to possible explosives in the bags.