We all know that during certain times of the day, standing on line at the TSA checkpoint can be a long, arduous process. A good portion of the long queue is because of people having to remove things from their bags; they obviously didn’t read my article about how to prepare for going through X-ray and don’t remember to pack things like their bag o’ liquids and their laptop computer so they’re easy to access. Rummaging through bags at X-ray just slows down the process. But some of that might soon come to an end.
The TSA is currently testing new scanners in a handful of airports that use computed tomography (yup, a CT scan!). These machines are more advanced than what the TSA has been using, and create such a clear picture of what’s inside a bag that the computers can automatically detect explosives, including liquids (because remember, the reason for the bag o’ liquids in the first place was a result of a thwarted attempt in 2006 to blow up trans-Atlantic flights using liquid explosives that were hidden in soft drink bottles. It’s been determined that 3 ounces/100 ml of any liquid wouldn’t be enough to blow up an entire plane.).
TSA is currently testing these new machines in 15 locations:
- Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
- Houston Hobby Airport (HOU)
- Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- McCarran International Airport (LAS)
- Oakland International Airport (OAK)
- Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
- San Diego International Airport (SAN)
- St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
- Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)
The TSA hopes to increase the number of units up to 40 airports by the end of the year, and to 145 airports by the end of 2019.
If people don’t have to remove their liquids or laptops from their bags, that should definitely help speed up the pace. Of course, it won’t solve everything – people in the regular TSA checkpoint line will still need to remove their shoes, jackets and belts. And since people in the regular line are sometimes those who don’t fly often, there will still be delays because of the old guy arguing about his 2 ounces of mouthwash in the 36 ounce bottle, because he wasn’t aware of the rules. But at least we can hope it will be better.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary